California ISO Study Affirms Grid Can Reliably Integrate 20% RPS

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The California Independent System Operator Corp. (California ISO) has released a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) integration study.

California ISO and its study partners, including GE Energy Consulting, gained insights about grid dynamics through the ‘Integration of Renewable Resources – Operational Requirements and Generation Fleet Capability at 20% RPS.’ The study assumes California will add 6,686 MW of wind 2,246 MW of solar resources by 2012.

Findings of the report include the following:

– Green power can swing in output by several thousand megawatts in as little as 20 minutes.

– Wind and solar power can offset each other's variable output because wind is plentiful at night and during early mornings, while solar power generates best on hot, sunny afternoons;

– Over generation resulting from high winds and high hydro can lead to too much power during periods when demand is low, which raises economic and reliability concerns; and

– Flexibility is important, and conventional power plants are needed to provide quick ‘ramp up’ and ‘ramp down’ capabilities to compensate for intermittent resources.

The full study is available at caiso.com.

SOURCE: California Independent System Operator Corp.

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