Nuclear power and solar power are two completely different beasts for the world of smart grid.
- is produced far from the consumers, in extremely large plants, and the energy must flow on the transmission lines to get to the loads;
- cannot be turned on and off whenever you want: a nuclear power plant is almost always in operation, producing a constant amount of power
- the environment does not interfere in any way with the power production: day or night, cold or warm weather, a nuclear power plant doesn't care;
- produced power has a cost, and therefore nuclear power plant participate in the energy market.
- is produced in extremely small plants (even single panels on the roofs of the houses), and it is produced INSIDE the power distribution network, very close to the loads;
- its production is highly unreliable and intermittent: it changes naturally during the day (zero at night), and depends on the weather;
- it does not have any production cost: once the panels are in place, any energy that is produced is free;
It is still an unresolved issue: right now, even if solar panels were free to build, the power grid could not operate on solar panel only. At the same time, nuclear power alone is not capable of following time-varying demands of the loads. The integration of the two, together with other sources (see also hydro) is the key to success.