Don Carrington uncovers an uncomfortably truthful admission to the state utility commission by a solar company, which is that the most one could rely on a solar energy company to produce dependably is … nothing.

From Carrington’s Carolina Journal piece today:

Solar energy has been touted by its advocates as a dependable energy source for the future, but in a document submitted to the state by a solar company affiliated with Google, the reliability of solar energy is listed as zero.

“Solar is an intermittent energy source, and therefore, the maximum dependable capacity is 0 MW,” Rutherford Farm LLC, a subsidiary of Chapel Hill-based Strata Solar, wrote in a May 2013 application to the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

Google announced in late November 2015 that it would participate in a new Duke Energy program allowing the Internet giant to buy power from the Rutherford Farms solar facility, to be located in Rutherford County, to run its new data center building located in Caldwell County, 50 miles away, near Lenoir.

But Google did not mention in its press releases that the entire Caldwell County complex will continue to receive all of its power from Duke Energy, generated with the same general mix of fuels used by other Duke customers — dominated by nuclear, coal, natural gas, and hydro.

Here is sports personality Mike Ditka illustrating the number of megawatts in solar’s maximum dependable capacity:


I have explored in previous newsletters the serious problems facing intermittent energy resources, which include nature, simple math, economics, and physics — but certainly not capturing subsidies.