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California’s electricity duck curve is deepening – pv magazine International


The mismatch between durations of peak photo voltaic era and peak electrical energy demand is deepening in California, however vitality storage buildout throughout the US state is ready to steadiness the grid.

From pv journal USA

The phenomenon of “duck curve” is an electrical grid operation idea which means the mismatch between peak photo voltaic era (midday to afternoon) and peak electrical energy demand (once more within the afternoon and night). Formed just like the define of a duck, the curve exhibits its peaks and valleys that do not coincide all through the typical day.

The expertise of a duck curve may cause stress on the grid and challenges for the electrical energy market, inflicting California and different solar-friendly states to extend the adoption of vitality storage to handle this. challenges.

The Power Info Administration (EIA) shared that as photo voltaic adoption grows in California, the “duck curve” is deepening. The noon peak internet load is lowering, making it tougher for the California Impartial System Operator (CAISO) to steadiness the grid.

The change in demand for electrical energy from standard energy vegetation from midday to nighttime, when vitality demand continues to be excessive however photo voltaic era falls, implies that standard energy vegetation like pure gas-fired peaker vegetation have to quickly ramp up electrical energy manufacturing to satisfy demand. . That fast ramp up makes it troublesome for grid operators to match grid provide with grid demand in actual time, a mechanism that balances the grid each bodily and within the wholesale market.

As well as, if extra solar energy is produced than used, operators might have to curtail, or deliberately shut down, photo voltaic belongings to keep away from overgeneration. The California Impartial System Operator (CAISO) lowered 1.5 million MWh of utility-scale photo voltaic in 2020, representing 5% of whole manufacturing, based on the EIA. Photo voltaic is probably the most dominant supply of vitality topic to discount within the state. The EIA mentioned that 94% of energy curtailments in 2020 contain photo voltaic vitality.

Curtailments peak within the spring months, when demand is comparatively low and photo voltaic output comparatively excessive. For instance, in the course of the early afternoon hours of March 2021, a mean of 15% of utility-scale photo voltaic was curtailed, CAISO information reported by the Division of Power exhibits.

The EIA additionally warned that the duck curve situation additionally challenges conventional, dispatchable vitality sources by making them uneconomical to function across the clock. This harm to a given facility’s income might result in a retirement of the ability and not using a viable alternative, the EIA mentioned.

“Much less dispatchable electrical energy makes it troublesome for grid managers to steadiness electrical energy provide and demand in a system with massive fluctuations in internet demand,” the EIA mentioned.

Nonetheless, the duck curve opens the door for vitality storage to satisfy the grid balancing wants of California and different renewables-based economies.

“The massive-scale deployment of vitality storage techniques, reminiscent of batteries, permits a number of the photo voltaic vitality generated in the course of the day to be saved and saved for later, after sundown,” the EIA mentioned. “Storing some photo voltaic era in the course of the day slows down the duck curve, and sending the saved photo voltaic era at evening shortens the duck’s neck.”

Battery vitality storage in California has grown quickly from 200 MW in 2018 to just about 5 GW at the moment. Operators are planning one other 4.5 GW of storage capability within the state by the top of the yr based on EIA information, suggesting the solar-plus-battery increase is simply getting began.

Regardless of larger general venture prices, solar-plus-storage has an acquisition value benefit, says world danger assurance firm DNV. Crops with storage can cost their batteries when there’s loads of daylight in the course of the day and promote the saved electrical energy when costs are excessive. DNV says that by 2038, the fee benefit of photo voltaic and storage co-located tasks will exceed the fee drawback, making these tasks extra engaging.

“PV and storage techniques are designed as a ‘bundle’ to provide vitality on demand, reminiscent of hydropower, nuclear, or combustion energy vegetation,” DNV mentioned.

In 10 years, DNV mentioned that nearly 20% of photo voltaic tasks worldwide shall be constructed with devoted storage, and by the center of the century such tasks will attain about 50%.

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