Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

California renewable energy production with falling demand

RubberToe

Supporting the greater good
Jun 28, 2012
3,026
7,380
El Lay
Saw an article talking about California power consumption dropping. I track this so thought I would post a couple interesting snippets from my spreadsheet. Here is a look at total power consumption as posted by CAISO, along with various sources of renewable power. The day shown in red is the day of the stay at home order. The days in gray are weekends when power consumption is typically lower.

total power 1.jpg

You can see that power consumption has been falling from that point forward. Compared to 2019 it is down about 12%. This presents an interesting challenge to CAISO as the grid operator. Renewables are generating about the same amount of power, but feeding it into a grid that is using quite a bit less overall power. This same thing happens on the weekends, to a lesser extent. Bet we are rapidly getting to the point where the dip in total power is even below typical weekend levels. This is providing a kind of accidental experiment to see what happens when renewables generate a higher percentage of overall power. Here are the monthly cumulative percentages from the same period:

total power 2.jpg

April is starting out with 38% renewable power so far. The highest level ever for any month previously was in May 2019 with about 36%. This also results in a lot of curtailment, which can be seen in the daily graph of production from renewable sources:

total power 3.jpg


It looks like what they are doing is letting Ivanpah (Solar Thermal) run at peak, and wind and other renewables too, but curtail Solar PV as required. Seems like going forward we either need to store that and shift it to non-peak periods, or start charging the EV base to soak it up. It would be interesting to see how much power is being curtailed, and how many EV's one would need to have plugged into L2 chargers to soak it up.

I think @nwdiver previously posted that having to curtail solar PV peak production wasn't necessarily a catastrophe. What would probably be most efficient would be to figure out the lowest cost way of utilizing that power if possible. If storage is dropping in cost at 20% per year, it might make sense to just curtail the excess for now versus trying to immediately deploy large scale storage.

RT
 

mblakele

beep! beep! 💉
Mar 7, 2016
1,727
5,556
SF Bay Area
Thanks for pulling that data together.

We still see curtailment well before 100% renewables, don’t we? Is that because of contractual obligations? Grid stability considerations? Something else?
 

RubberToe

Supporting the greater good
Jun 28, 2012
3,026
7,380
El Lay
February total curtailment was 157,000 MWh. Over 29 days that's 5,413 MWh per day. If a single MWh can fill 13 Model 3s at 75 KWh each, then 5413*13=70,379.

The power being curtailed could completely charge 70,379 Model 3s per day.

March total renewable generation not curtailed was 4,317,656 MWh. Curtailment is only about 3% of all renewable power generated.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,426
11,033
California
Thousands to be paid for daytime green electricity use during lockdown

Thousands to be paid for daytime green electricity use during lockdown

Thousands of British homes will be paid to use electricity during the day for the first time, as wind and solar projects produce a surge in clean energy during the coronavirus lockdown.

On Sunday morning, wind farms contributed almost 40% of the UK’s electricity, while solar power made up almost a fifth of the power system. Fossil fuels made up less than 15% of electricity, of which only 1.1% came from coal plants.
 

RubberToe

Supporting the greater good
Jun 28, 2012
3,026
7,380
El Lay
Thousands to be paid for daytime green electricity use during lockdown

Thousands to be paid for daytime green electricity use during lockdown

Thousands of British homes will be paid to use electricity during the day for the first time, as wind and solar projects produce a surge in clean energy during the coronavirus lockdown.

On Sunday morning, wind farms contributed almost 40% of the UK’s electricity, while solar power made up almost a fifth of the power system. Fossil fuels made up less than 15% of electricity, of which only 1.1% came from coal plants.

I'm all for paying EV owners to take a bit bite out if the fat part of the duck during the early afternoon.

But seriously, it's just another way to soak up the excess power. People respond to financial incentives.

RT
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,426
11,033
California
Another Way to See the Recession: Power Usage Is Way Down Another Way to See the Recession: Power Usage Is Way Down

New data on electricity use in the past three weeks suggest a sharp decline in U.S. economic activity on par with that of the Great Recession. It may already be the deepest downturn since the Great Depression; it is certainly the fastest.

These numbers are important because our official statistics can’t keep pace with the abrupt economic changes the coronavirus shutdown has caused. All those closed stores, silenced factories and darkened office buildings are yet to be counted in the government’s official economic numbers, which take months to collect, process and report.
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,551
7,701
Maine
When utilities pay people to use more electricity EV owners are going to greatly benefit. Get paid to charge your car:)

This is due to penalties when the grid can't accept renewable generation.

Longer-term, you should expect those penalties to disappear, more renewables and more EV charging demand, so you'll still have smart charging soaking up cheap electricity. Some companies are wanting to use that excess for hydrogen production, but I think that the energy efficiency advantage for PEV means that the EV smart-charging market will always be willing and able to pay more for the electricity than the hydrogen producers.
 

RubberToe

Supporting the greater good
Jun 28, 2012
3,026
7,380
El Lay

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,343
15,253
New Mexico
It looks like what they are doing is letting Ivanpah (Solar Thermal) run at peak, and wind and other renewables too, but curtail Solar PV as required. Seems like going forward we either need to store that and shift it to non-peak periods, or start charging the EV base to soak it up.
Better, we need to force the utilities to not prefer fossil generation
 
  • Like
Reactions: APotatoGod

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,551
7,701
Maine

mblakele

beep! beep! 💉
Mar 7, 2016
1,727
5,556
SF Bay Area
Here is the mother lode of battery storage coming online by August 2021. Presumably this will soak up some of the solar that is now being curtailed. I'm assuming that the net result of having all these large batteries co-located with the solar PV plants is to do just that.

Southern California Edison Contracts Mammoth 770MW Energy Storage Portfolio to Replace California Gas Plants

Might be interesting to start tracking these projects. This builds on PG&E to replace 3 gas plants with world's biggest battery projects from 2018: "three energy storage projects from third-party owners, totaling 385.5 MW, 1,540 MWh, and one 182.5 MW, 730 MWh project" — total 568-MW / 2270-MWh.

SCE numbers seem to come to 770-MW / 3080-MWh, if my math is correct, for a grand total of 1338-MW / 5350-MWh. I'm not sure when the PG&E project comes online, but hopefully both will be online by late 2021.

Any idea how much storage we'd need to handle evening ramp-up? On the CA ISO site I see evening ramp numbers around 10-11 GW over 3-hr. All these projects seem to be sized for that kind of duration. Does that mean these PG&E and SCE projects together could handle about 12% of a 3-hr ramp at 11-GW? That'd be a good start — but maybe the calculation is more involved?
 

Brando

Active Member
Sep 27, 2016
2,890
2,013
Bainbridge Island, WA
Any idea how much storage we'd need to handle evening ramp-up?
How about more flexibility in our behaviors? Opening & closing times, work from home some of the time. constant adjustments to day light hours.

Before A/C especially in Southern Europe work days were AM til noon - 3 hour lunches or longer - evening work. Many liked as it was like having 2 work days in a single day. Long lunch with family & friends.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,280
5,918
Los Altos, CA
Simple cost will force - IF we drop government subsidies of fossil fuels (coal & oil).
Even with subsidies, utilities are shifting to solar/wind.

side note: don't forget transmission costs - distance matters
It's not all about subsidies. There are problems with long term contracts that already exist with fossil generation suppliers, mostly in the name of grid stability. Once those contracts are in place, there is no motivation to turn down that generation to reduce renewable curtailment. They have the contract, so they just keep running to keep getting paid.
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: mblakele and Brando

dazizmor

Member
Jul 23, 2019
20
55
Oakland, CA

Back in 2013, the California Public Utilities Commission passed rules requiring the state's utilities bring 1.3 GW of storage online by 2024, making California the prime location for implementation of all types of storage projects. Now the state is starting to reap the benefits. With CA already a world leader in solar/renewable implementation/integration, the state is leading the way in energy innovation and hopefully others will follow.

Disclosure: I work for the CPUC.
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top