CAISO Solar Generation Hits All-Time High



On July 12, 2016, solar generation in California reached a new all-time hourly peak of 8,021 MW in the hour-beginning at 1 PM. This accounted for more than 24% of the hourly system load of 32,954 MW. Renewable generation – solar generation in particular – has seen consistent year-over-year growth in California.
 
Year-to-date total renewable generation is up over 19% compared to 2015. However, solar generation has risen more than 29% when compared to the same timeframe in 2015, further extending the annual growth rates of 36.5% in 2015, 107.5% in 2014, and 171.7% in 2013. When looking at solar generation data for July 2016 compared to the data for July since July 2010, it’s easy to see the surge in solar development capacity.
 
CAISO Solar Year-Over-Year 2010-2016 ABB
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Since mid-2010, solar generation in California has increased drastically, with observable linear growth since the end of 2012.
 
CAISO Hourly Solar Generation ABB
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These figures are promising, but it remains to be seen whether California’s 50% renewable portfolio standard generation goal will be achievable. To date, California has more than 18,000 MW of available capacity from renewables, with over 8,500 MW of solar capacity. When looking at the annual addition in capacity by fuel type since 1970, we see a large surge in renewable development since 2000.
 
CAISO Fleet Generation 1970-2016 ABB
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California’s Renewable Portfolio Standards are some of the most ambitious standards in the country, with an expected renewable portfolio that accounts for 30% of generation by 2020 and 50% by 2030. California will likely meet its 2020 goals, and with a concentrated effort, may well be able to meet its 2030 goals.
 
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Author: Velocity Suite Power Markets Analyst