On Sunday, California’s CAISO region reported that its electricity “net demand” bounced near zero for chunks of the afternoon. The power grid operator defines net load as total electricity demand minus wind and solar power.
Starting at 12:20 PST, CAISO first reported net demand at negative 63 MW. At the moment, total grid demand was 13.8 GW. It was offset by 12.4 GW of utility managed solar, and 1.5 GW of wind.
While CAISO’s demand was noted as being nearly 14 GW, total true demand was above 20 GW at the moment when taking into account the greater than 10 GW of behind-the-meter solar power deployed in the power grid region.
Combined, solar was meeting greater than 90% of California’s electricity needs at the moment.
At the same time that CAISO first noted a net demand below zero, at 12:20 p.m., the overall supply picture was much more complex. First, there was greater than 4.7 GW of natural gas running, as well as electricity exports of over 4.9 GW.
According to Grid Status’ Max Kanter, Sunday set a record for the highest electricity export ever from CAISO.
In addition to the gas and 4 MW of coal burning somewhere in the state, batteries and multiple other clean sources were doing their job. Just over 2 GW of batteries were being charged, along with just over 4 GW of combined nuclear and hydroelectric power were pumping.
In fact, starting at 8:10 a.m. and going until 5:50 p.m. – nine hours and forty minutes – CAISO’s total electricity demand could be covered by its clean resources of nuclear, hydro, wind and solar.
CAISO’s curtailment report from Sunday shows that there was some solar power being shut down during the day. The report noted that during the noon hour, when the state officially broke below zero on net load by 0.063 GW, solar curtailment capacity peaked at just over 1.7 GW, with 1.54 GWh of electricity not being generated. On April 18, 2023 solar peaked at greater than 14 GW.
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Thank you…exciting news, helpful to know what is needed for real life residential, business, industry and government demand, (possibly streamlined, reduced in future when rooftop and built-surface Microgrid will run 24/7 reliably, affordably). Changes coming in better personal planning and better tech available. In relation to real geophysics, etc. being the parameter and not commercial deals.
How often do they replace each expensive solar panel as UV destroys and degrades its efficiently $$$$$$$
Replacement of panels is a cycle every 30 to 35 years.
According to a decades long study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the average degradation rate is 0.50% across all solar panel manufacturers. That means solar output should be about 89% of its original output after 25 years. In 25 years, panel cost are likely to be even less as new technologies come online. Electric costs will be much cheaper long term than having to rely on commodities like oil and gas that spike everytime there is a war somewhere.
Most solar panels last 25 – 40+ years. Degradation is usually in the rage of about .5% a year. They are designed and built with UV in mind. They are not designed and built by 5 year–olds.
The lifespan on those panels run anywhere between 12 to 20 years.
Of course whether nuclear is actually clean is still a very open question, and with luck the day will soon come when the renewables curtailments start stacking up against Diablo Canyon’s production numbers.
That would be every 35 years. Thats when good quality panels degrade to 75% OEM efficency. But in reality, if the polycarbonate is not broken, they are good for 50 years, and still at 50% OEM efficency, which is not bad.
Interesting, but misreported. Los Angeles dept water and power with 8100 MW capacity, and some other small utilities are not part of CAISO, so its not the state, but CAISO.
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