One of the big questions about solar power is how to supply sun-driven electricity at times of peak demand. Demand spikes in the early morning, before the sun is high enough to hit solar panels, and in the early evening, when solar panels operate at only at half efficiency in the low light. Cost-effective storage has been a major issue to be solved.
Solana, the U.S.’s first large-scale solar plant that can store the energy it generates on Tuesday was given a $1.45 billion loan guarantee by Secretary Chu.
The advantage of storage capacity is that Solana will be able to keep energy that would not be used during peak demand, thus increasing solar power’s dependability.