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California ISO approaching zero imports

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Recently CA ISO has been reporting high peak solar generation and fairly low net demand. Imports have been dipping to around 1000-MW. Today marked the first time I've noticed imports so close to zero: a mere 57-MW at 13:55, down from around 7-GW before sunrise. That's about a 100x swing. For a while around 14:00, net demand dipped below 9-GW.

Do others here think this is significant? Do imports matter? How will our energy markets change if we see zero imports on a regular basis? Solar generation should be increasing: when could we see net zero demand for parts of the day?

Will we see utilities pushing for changes to TOU? Seems like 09:00-16:00 is practically off-peak, right now.

California ISO - Supply

 

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The most important thing now in CA is not the installation of more solar (that is coming, that wave cannot be stopped), but the installation of more storage. There is already coming such an excess of solar that we need storage to level out the demand curve, and soon.
 
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For now imports skyrocket in the evening hours. I presume the usual suspects* will fill the gap when the current contracts expire and CA imposes carbon restrictions on imports.

Here is yesterday:


upload_2018-5-10_10-7-14.png


*NG, wind and PV storage. I'm personally betting on off-shore wind to cover the night and replace daytime NG.
 
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For now imports skyrocket in the evening hours. I presume the usual suspects* will fill the gap when the current contracts expire and CA imposes carbon restrictions on imports.

Here is yesterday:


View attachment 300148


*NG, wind and PV storage. I'm personally betting on off-shore wind to cover the night and replace daytime NG.
Off- shore wind in California?

Surely you jest. That’s not happening.
 
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People will just have to learn to use their thermostat to take advantage of peak PV hours and shift AC consumption.

Has anyone gotten around to making the obvious thermostat that, instead of having a single temperature target, lets the user set two temperature targets, one for cheap electricity and the other for expensive electricity, along with letting the user enter the number of cents per kilowatt hour to be used as the cutoff between cheap and expensive electricity with the real time pricing that probably no one's utility is currently offering?
 
Has anyone gotten around to making the obvious thermostat that, instead of having a single temperature target, lets the user set two temperature targets, one for cheap electricity and the other for expensive electricity, along with letting the user enter the number of cents per kilowatt hour to be used as the cutoff between cheap and expensive electricity with the real time pricing that probably no one's utility is currently offering?
Any half-assed thermostat for < $20 lets you split each day into segments.

If the utilities eventually move to a demand pricing that changes more frequently than three times a day the thermostats may have to learn to talk with the utility.
 
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I would like to see that chart with an overlay of spot price. The Day-Ahead market price for "PG Peninsula" appears to have a low of <$10/MWh around noon today and a high of $75/MWh around 8pm. The Real-Time market price hit $0/MWh a little before 9am before spiking back up.
 
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Market prices taken from here, the EMW EV JuiceNet app.

View attachment 386700

I had a hard time finding usable spot price data. In the end I used data from http://www.energyonline.com/Data/GenericData.aspx?DataId=20 to generate this chart. I'm not sure exactly what these prices reflect: the site just says "CAISO (California ISO) Average Price" and the intervals are 5-min. Anyway this chart shows a broad correlation between that price and MWh imported, which is what I'd expect.

R0T7Ot3.png
 
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After looking at some CA IRPs, one predicted day/night peak prices will reverse by 2022. Glendale is looking at a 200MWh battery. My guess is load-shifting, at residential and perhaps surprisingly municipal retail, will smooth the duck curve's depression. It's sad FERC miss-behavior has upped the risk of CA regionalizing. Without it, probably more batteries will economically be deployed. It would be much more efficient if exports simply lifted solar values.
 
After looking at some CA IRPs, one predicted day/night peak prices will reverse by 2022. Glendale is looking at a 200MWh battery. My guess is load-shifting, at residential and perhaps surprisingly municipal retail, will smooth the duck curve's depression. It's sad FERC miss-behavior has upped the risk of CA regionalizing. Without it, probably more batteries will economically be deployed. It would be much more efficient if exports simply lifted solar values.

Price reversal makes sense to me: it's probably overdue already. If current trends continue and if grid logistics allow, I'd think that within the next year or two CA will have periods of net-zero demand (demand minus solar and wind). Today's net demand nadir was 6.4-GW, and according to EIA utility solar in California has grown by 4-5 GW annually in recent years. Residential growth looks closer to 1-2 GW/yr: that doesn't show up on the CA ISO charts, but it should affect net demand. As we approach those periods of net-zero demand, gas turbines look less economical and batteries make more sense.

Interesting times.