CAISO notches record, serving 56.7% of demand with renewable energy in one day

Dive Brief:

  • The California ISO hit an all-time peak percentage, serving 56.7% of demand with renewable energy around 11:19 a.m. on March 23.

  • Solar and wind power, combined, also hit a peak on the same day at 49.2% of demand.

  • In all, renewable sources produced 186 GWh, representing 33% of the 563 GWh of electricity used on March 23.

Dive Insight:

California is already ahead of its aggressive 50% renewables target and a bill in the state legislature could, if passed, raise the bar to 100% by 2045.

But as renewable energy climbs as a percentage of the state’s overall production, some renewable output is going unused.

In a February memo CAISO warned that a “bountiful” hydro conditions and “significant” additional solar installations could result in the curtailment of between 6 GW and 8 GW of renewable capacity this spring.

The curtailments could create more opportunities for energy storage that could be used to store unused renewable production for use later in the day when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind stops blowing.

California already has some of the largest storage projects in the nation. In February Tesla brought an 80-MWh storage facility online for Southern California Edison and AES Energy Storage and San Diego Gas & Electric have finished a 30-MW, 120-MWh in Escondido. And Diego Gas & Electric and Sumitomo Electric unveiled this month unveiled a 2-MW flow battery installation in Bonita, Calif.

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Filed Under: Generation Solar & Renewables Energy Storage Distributed Energy Regulation & Policy
Top image credit: California ISO