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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u May 5, 2013 1:25 AM Flag

    Solar Energy to Account for Most New Generation in California

    May 1, 2013

    Almost all of the new generation capacity in the California transmission system operator’s queue for the second half of 2013 is solar -- 97 percent, to be exact.

    There are 1,633 megawatts of new generation capacity in the 2H 2013 queue, according to the 2012 Annual Report on Market Issues and Performance from the California Independent System Operator (the ISO). Of that, 1,581 megawatts are new solar and 52 megawatts are biomass.

    By the end of the first half of the year, the ISO will have added 3,391 megawatts of nameplate capacity, of which 2,296 megawatts will be natural gas, 565 megawatts will be wind and 530 megawatts will be solar.

    However, what is in the ISO’s queue is not necessarily what will end up in the state’s energy mix, REC Solar Director of Governmental Affairs Ben Higgins pointed out.

    But in this report, California ISO Manager of Monitoring and Reporting Keith Collins noted, “the ISO has done its best in determining which projects have a high probably of coming on-line instead of just taking generation in the queue as-is.”

    This is likely a very good indication of the new generation the marketplace will build to replace the 2,200-megawatt deficit caused by the San Onofre nuclear facility outage and the mandated closures/retrofits of fossil fuel plants that over-consume the state’s water resources. And it is a strong indication of the kind of building that will be driven by the state’s 33 percent by 2020 Renewable Portfolio Standard.

    “This is the shape of things to come,” observed V. John White, executive director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT). But it raises two important questions. First, what kind of natural gas plants will be added? And, second, are we getting a lumpy renewable energy portfolio that is heavy on solar and light on everything else?"

    The gas plants could be more of the


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