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Solar additions of over 2 GW to help California meet summer demand

Solar park in California equipped by First Solar. Author: Russ Ferriday. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

May 11 (SeeNews) - California has enough electricity supplies to meet peak demand this summer thanks to the addition of over 2 GW of solar power capacity, stable imports and only moderate peak demand growth.

An analysis by the California Independent System Operator Corp (ISO) has shown that supplies will be enough even under an extreme scenario of hot temperatures.

California ISO said that since the summer of 2014, 2,328 MW of new power capacity has been hooked to the grid. Solar accounts for 96% of that. All in all, the capacity of all solar and wind parks connected to the Californian grid amounts to 6,700 MW and 6,100 MW, respectively.

The total generation capacity available from all resources in the state is estimated to be 54,322 MW, with some 16,300 MW of renewable resources. In addition, the ISO has identified about 1,840 MW of demand response and interruptible load programmes that will be available this summer. The 2015 summer peak, meanwhile, is expected to be slightly above 47,000 MW.

The ISO pointed out that grid reliability will not be materially affected even though the multi-year drought in the US state is reducing hydroelectric availability to the lowest level in a decade. It expects 1,511 MW less hydroelectricity under anticipated water runoff and stream flows and up to 2,733 MW less hydroelectricity under even more restricted water runoff and stream flows.

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for almost nine years. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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