Morning Brief: Tuesday will be a challenging day for the California grid – here’s a CAISO load forecast


Chinese battery manufacturer CATL is developing a new type of EV battery that does not use cobalt or nickel, the expensive, hard-to-find minerals typically found in EV batteries. CATL did not provide details about the makeup or costs of the new battery. Tesla has considered using a CATL cobalt-free lithium-iron-phosphate battery in its Chinese vehicles, although it is unclear if this is the same battery CATL just announced. CATL provides batteries for Tesla, Volkswagen, Daimler, Honda, and Toyota, among other EV makers. Source: Reuters

Record 25.3 GW of windpower capacity under construction across U.S. The U.S. wind industry installed 2.5 GW of new capacity in the second quarter of 2020, a record for Q2 additions, despite delays caused by the pandemic. The 2.5 GW installed was more than three times the 736 MW added in Q2 2019, stated the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) in its latest Wind Powers America quarterly report. The increase brought total US wind capacity to nearly 110 GW. The U.S. is currently experiencing a boom in installations prompted by the looming expiration of the $0.0015/kWh production tax credit, the primary federal incentive available to the wind industry. It expires at the end of the year. Source: AWEA

Rolling blackouts in California have power experts stumped. Managers of the electric system argue that a lack of power prompted the decision to enact blackouts, though demand this weekend fell short of the state’s peak years. As temperatures began to rise in California on Friday and again on Saturday, the manager of much of the state’s electric grid called on utilities to cut power to hundreds of thousands of customers. But the rolling blackouts on those days left some of the state’s energy experts bewildered. They said that the utilities had plenty of power available and that the blackouts weren’t necessary. The grid’s capacity may be tested in coming days as temperatures are forecast to reach into the triple digits again in some places. “They set it up like this is a historic event,” said Bill Powers, a San Diego engineer who provides expert testimony on utility matters before the state’s regulators. “This should not have triggered blackouts.” Source: The New York Times

Here’s a link to the California ISO’s briefing on system operations for yesterday and here’s the Monday and Tuesday outlook:




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