Solar Delivers When Grid Needs It Most


With more and more solar being built in California, new records of peak solar generation are being set and re-set. On September 5, the California Independent System Operator issued a press release (pdf) to celebrate how solar is helping meet the state’s energy needs: “California surpassed a major milestone during a recent heat wave that hit the sun-soaked state. More than 1,000 megawatts of solar power generation—equal to the size of two large gas-fired power plants—set new U.S. records twice in recent weeks.” (Note that this data reflects only wholesale generation — when you add the 1.2 GW and counting of customer-owned solar generation that serves onsite load, the total more than doubles).

A key takeaway here is that solar generates when the grid needs it the most. August 14 was a flex-alert day, when a heatwave drove the grid to near breaking point. As the CAISO chart shows, solar was there when the grid needed it the most. Solar offsets the most expensive electricity, and reduces costs for all.

Vote Solar is a non-profit grassroots organization working to fight climate change and foster economic opportunity by bringing solar energy into the mainstream.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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