California Is Setting Solar Records

Recent sunny skies and beautiful mild temperatures have allowed #California to set #solar records.


Back in sunny May of 2017, the Independent System Operator hit its topmost percentage of demand – 47.2 percent. But more recently, on March 4, 2018, it hit an all-time peak percentage of 49.95 percent. Senior public information officer at , Anne Gonzales, attributed this in part to the day being sunny and cool.

Gonzales mentioned that since it was a weekend during which mild weather was enjoyed, the smallest load was comparatively low (approximately 18,800 megawatts). In the meantime, production was greater than 9,400 megawatts.

As per, a mere 24 hours later, CAISO found itself setting yet another solar record. This time, it was a peak for solar production (10,411 megawatts). Prior to this, the record was just over 9,910 megawatts, and this was set back in June of 2017.

For the entire year, in 2017, solar contributed to approximately 15% of in-state electricity generation in California, as per PV Magazine. The state is now meaningfully pushing storage.

California Has Solar Goals for 2020

Solar is becoming more and more popular when it comes to electricity in California. As some know, California has a 33 percent mandate set for the year 2020. At this point in time, the state and its investor-owned utilities are ahead of schedule to meet this solar procurement plan.

The success which has been seen in terms of solar in this beautiful state is opening up the discussion of possibly going 100 percent solar in the future. Of course, with the grid system evolving, there has been debate and confusion in regard to the best possible way to manage variable resources.

Gonzales mentioned that the intensifying incorporation of solar power has created a new operating standard for system operators. She added that when the grid set a new solar record, it also had to handle a record peak with regard to ramping. Gonzales also pointed out that their operators are capable in terms of handling said ramps.

CAISO is also attempting to decrease curtailment when there is an excess of solar resources on the system, which is anticipated to happen more habitually as California continues to introduce growing quantities of solar and wind. Solar really is taking over!

CAISO’s Fourth-Quarter 2017 Report: Why It Matters

CAISO’s report on the EIM (which serves consumers in eight Western states) revealed benefits of more than $33 million for its partakers, which means the total benefit is up to more than $288 million since 2014. Wow!

California could, in the near future, break its latest solar records. Solar could become even more popular, however, this doesn’t mean there will necessarily be an increase in solar energy usage because of accelerated renewable/solar energy procurements and market shifts. This is in accordance with a California Public Utilities Commission report.

CEO of the Independent Energy Producers Association, Jan Smutny-Jones, expressed her disappointment when she mentioned that it seems as though people who don’t know what to do simply aren’t planning on doing anything.

Note: Independent Energy Producers Association (IEP) represents wind, solar, geothermal and small hydro developers, and requested that California utilities put out wholesale solicitations for 3,000 megawatts of renewables. This request, however, was not able to be met, causing disappointment with many.

It is important to note that thanks to beautiful spring weather and low usage, California saw its highest portion of demand met with solar yet. Follow solar news to see what continues to happen across the country as it relates to solar energy.




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