We recently had the chance to ask Granite Apollo, a company that is helping to drive growth in clean energy in the New England region, a few questions about the clean energy sector today and in the future. Their answers shed a little light on where we are and where we are going.
What is the name of your business and what do you do?
Granite Apollo is a utility-scale solar company, focused on generating competitively priced, clean, reliable power to be sold throughout the ISO-New England electric marketplace.
How has the emerging clean energy industry in New England and across the United States affected your business?
It has definitely helped companies like Granite Apollo all over the country. We’re seeing businesses, municipalities, and states move toward adoption of renewable energy at an ever-increasing rate. We’re now seeing solar and other renewable projects find major success, bringing clean, reliable, and competitively priced power to all parts of the country, and we don’t think that trend will be slowing down any time soon. We believe well-sited, utility-scaled solar power is a key part of New England’s energy future, as well as development of other renewable sources around the region.
What do you see as the future of clean technology?
No one knows which new energy resources may emerge in the next 20 years, but in the near term, utility-scale solar projects have become extremely competitive in terms of energy pricing. In the longer term, battery technology has been improving over time as well, so a larger-scale solar project paired with storage technology seems like it could soon be a possibility. Projects like these could allow for better overall grid management, as well as a large increase in the efficiency of those solar projects.
Why do you think it is important for elected officials and other business to learn more about your field?
Elected officials should learn more about the energy generation markets because they write the rules of the road in an increasingly complex system. Legislative inconsistency is a major impediment to development of clean energy resources in New England, as uncertainty can scare away a lot of companies. Additionally, misunderstanding of the many factors that go into electric rates can cause elected officials to make misguided efforts to help their constituents. In order to properly regulate and interact with the electric markets, elected officials need to better understand the markets. Additionally, not only are they the decision-makers as far as laws and regulations, but they’re also ratepayers and business owners.
The takeaway from our chat with Granite Apollo is that we are clearly at a turning point in the development of clean energy. From the perspective of utility-scale generators, solar and other clean energy resources are mature, widespread, and highly competitive in the marketplace.
As the election approaches, conservative voters must hold all candidates accountable for their positions on clean energy and should expect them to continue to engage on issues that affect the industry.