California: Curtailing Solar Power & Building Natural Gas Plants… Because…

Because “I don’t care who you are! That’s funny right there!” by David Middleton

Solar power delivers more electricity than Californians can use from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM and very little at before 9:00 AM and after 4:00 PM.

So CAISO has to shut in some solar power generation during the peak solar resource period of the day. The more solar power they add to the grid, the more they have to curtail…

AUGUST 24, 2021
California’s curtailments of solar electricity generation continue to increase

Curtailments of solar-powered electricity generation have increased in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) region, the part of the electric grid that covers most of the state. In 2020, CAISO curtailed 1.5 million megawatthours of utility-scale solar, or 5% of its utility-scale solar production.

Grid operators curtail electricity production from solar and wind generators when supply exceeds demand. In 2020, solar curtailments accounted for 94% of the total energy curtailed in CAISO. Solar curtailments tend to be greater in the spring months when electricity demand is relatively low (because of moderate temperatures decreasing heating and cooling demand) and solar output is relatively high. In the early afternoon hours of March 2021, CAISO curtailed an average of 15% of its utility-scale solar output.


Principal contributor: Lori Aniti


Meanwhile, sanity makes a rare appearance in California

California to open 5 natural gas plants to avoid blackouts
by Shelby Bracho, Friday, August 20th 2021

California officials say five temporary gas-fueled generators will be set up around existing power plants throughout the state to avoid blackouts and boos the state’s grid.

This is a move in the opposite direction from California’s big push toward “green” renewable energy.

“We cannot keep the lights on without additional natural gas and the state’s been forced to go out and find it in an emergency situation,” said Assemblymember Jim Patterson.

Hopefully, this means no more flex alerts and rolling blackouts for people here in the Central Valley and across the state.


With a current price tag of $171.5 million, each unit will produce about 30 MW of power for a total of 150 MW powered by natural gas.

“Natural gas, you can turn it on when you need it, you can use it at any time of the day or night, it is readily available, it is relatively affordable and it burns relatively cleanly,” said Assemblymember Patterson, “California has been forced to do this because we now have growing demand on a grid that has flattening supplies and that has caused these flex alerts.”

DWR says the units will have the capability of running on an up to 75% hydrogen blend in the future, depending on hydrogen availability.

“So we’ll meet our current needs, and you know, we’ll have the capability to utilize in future fuel blends of hydrogen as we move forward in our clean energy goals,” said Ted Craddock, Deputy Director of the State Water Project with the DWR.

“My hunch is that this is not going to be temporary, my hunch is that this will be 150 MW that will be essential and necessary for a long time to come,” said Assemblymember Patterson.



Was this a typo?

California officials say five temporary gas-fueled generators will be set up around existing power plants throughout the state to avoid blackouts and boos the state’s grid.

Or will the “gas-fueled generators” literally boo “the state’s grid”?

Like this:

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via Watts Up With That?

August 24, 2021 at 04:08PM

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