“Utilities see a big opportunity in distributed energy resources, but are unsure of the best business models (by which to benefit)” – quote from Industry Survey of Electric Utility Executives (FEB.2015)
The solution appears, to us, to be pretty obvious. Even the big utility companies agree that distributed energy production is going to usurp the centralized production model that has prevailed for the last century. It just makes sense to produce power closer to the customer and closer to the fuel sources. It also makes sense to have lots of smaller power plants than several large ones because it’s a safer, more reliable and more secure system overall.
Our proposed strategy to make this a win/win scenario is to have hundreds and eventually thousands of power plants; each individually owned and operated, either grid tied or stand-alone. To do this, means to have a standardized model of a power plant that can be built modularly and quickly at a cost driven down by economies of scale. These modules can be built in factories wherever the labor/capital/quality ratio is optimal. The modules can be built in perfect conditions in a plant and shipped to wherever they are needed and deployed with confidence to feed power to those who need it. It is a mass market approach to energy generation that we are convinced is the best solution to a multitude of problems.
TerraStar Energy has modules (gasifiers, anaerobic digesters, pyrolysis, biomass boilers) that readily convert waste to energy. That is; each module can work independently or in a “gang” or array that can be scaled up easily to meet the capacity requirements of a site or community. Converting waste to energy at a local level will extend the useful lives of landfills, reduce the amount of waste deposited onto fields, from where it can infiltrate rivers and lakes, and minimize (and even reverse) the amount of carbon entering the atmosphere.
Local power plants can be run like so many small businesses. Each employs local builders to construct the site and local staff to operate and maintain it once it is operational. Each uses local waste that is generated nearby and is hauled by local companies to the power plant. Jobs therefore are created when and where they are needed and are directly proportional to the volumes of waste that are being produced.
TerraStar Energy envisions a world full of well-paid owners and operators of power plants, each feeding the existing grid at wholesale rates that are individually market based. Operators will sell the power they produce at a wholesale rate that the utility companies can distribute and sell at a respectable retail rate.
Modular and scalable electricity generation combined with superior interconnection technology is going to enable a whole new class of business people into the energy market that never could have entered it before.
It is certainly the way of the future …. A way in which all stakeholders will win.