California breaks renewable energy generation record

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
CAISO hit a new renewable energy record, with wind, solar, hydro and other renewables serving more than 80%. Source: Flickr/ lindalino

According to the state’s independent system operator (CAISO), on 13 May, renewables including solar, wind and hydro produced a record of 80.7% of the grid’s electricity.

More than half of that figure came directly from wind and solar. Overall, solar produced 8,669MW of peak production on 13 May – and that is not even inclusive of rooftop solar arrays – and constituted 17.2% of electricity on the grid.

“It's going to be a dynamic year for records,” CAISO spokesperson Steven Greenlee said. “The solar records in particular are falling like dominoes.”

California also set a new record on 16 May for wind power, producing 4,985MW in one day.

These numbers are the latest benchmark in what is expected to be a record-setting year for renewable energy production in California. Further, the Golden State is also experiencing increased solar penetration resulting in negative wholesale pricing

Duck curve

Increased solar levels in California have resulted in a pronounced duck curve which happens when solar gets to around 10% of electricity load, according to GTM Research.

“Our forecast calls for solar penetration nationally of a little over 2% last year to about 5.5% – so that's a dramatic increase in the year 2022. But it's going to be relatively concentrated among the major solar states, which means you still aren't going to have a ton of states that are facing a duck-curve challenge,” said Shayle Khan senior vice president at GTM during the Solar Summit.

According to CAISO’s latest figures, summer peak demand in California is projected to be around 46,877MW, about a 0.6% higher than 2016. About 52,785MW of net qualifying capacity will be available this summer.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
September 13, 2021
Following the release of the US Department’s Solar Futures Study, Liam Stoker assesses the downstream and upstream trends that must be realised for US solar to fulfil its potential.
September 6, 2021
A coalition of 347 organisations has warned that potential changes to California's policy support for rooftop solar could set back climate change progress and harm low-income access to solar energy.
August 25, 2021
Renewable capacity additions in California mean the curtailment of solar generation in the state is increasing, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA)
August 25, 2021
The US renewables sector has welcomed the House of Representatives’ approval of a budget resolution that provides the framework for a US$3.5 trillion spending package.
August 24, 2021
Energy advisory DNV has acquired the consulting arm of Chile-based energy price forecaster Antuko, taking aim at the Latin America and Iberia power markets.
August 19, 2021
It may be the height of summer but there’s no respite for the Solar Media Podcast, the new episode of which is packed full of insight as the US begins its clampdown on solar imports.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
BRISTOL, UK
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021