11.5 GW of clean energy assures reliability, CCAs add more renewables

By Published On: September 30, 2021

To attain 11.5 GW of clean electricity by mid-decade, no additional fossil fuel plants will be needed to ensure grid reliability, California Energy Commission staff concluded Sept. 30. In late May, the California Public Utilities Commission mandated that the utilities add 11.5 GW of greenhouse gas emissions-free resources, including 1,000 MW of new geothermal resources. The resources are to fill in supply gaps from the closing of the aging coastal plants in 2024, and the 2,200 MW Diablo Nuclear Power Plant’s closure in 2025. CEC staff looked at a worst case grid reliability scenario—during a western-wide heat wave, no power imports and limited hydropower—where no more than one outage occurs every decade. Even in that extreme event, “there is no need for further procurement during this transition to clean energy” from 2023-2026, said Liz Gill, advisor to CEC Commissioner Siva Gunda said at the Commission’s Thursday meeting. She added that because many of the new resources will be battery systems—10 GW of four-hour storage, and 1 GW of long-duration systems—their performance should be monitored  because of earlier shortcomings.

The lawmaker who authored the new law aimed at launching a state offshore wind energy leaves his job in Sacramento. Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco), author of AB 525, becomes San Francisco’s new city attorney.

Southern California Gas announced Sept. 30 that it is blending hydrogen to fuel a household system and appliances at its Engineering Analysis Center and Centralized Training Facility. It is testing and measuring the performance of common household appliances like stoves, wall heaters and forced-air furnaces when fueled with a blend of hydrogen and natural gas. “This is the next step moving out of the lab and toward future blending into the natural gas grid, with an emphasis on safety and training,” the company stated.

Peninsula Clean Energy entered into a 15-year solar-plus-storage power agreement with Leeward Renewable Energy for 102 MW from its Chaparral Solar Facility in Kern County. It also will purchase the energy and capacity from Chaparral’s 52 MW /208 MW/hour battery storage system.

Marin Clean Energy’s 2020 default energy supply, Light Green, was 61% renewable, which is nearly twice the average renewable energy amount in California, 33%. Since it launched in 2010, MCE has grown its renewable energy content from 28% to 61% while significantly increasing its customer base from 10,000 to more than 540,000 accounts across four Bay Area counties.

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