Tuesday, June 7, 2016

USA, California: Balancing the Golden State's Electrical Grid

Who's In Charge? Getting Western States To Agree On Sharing Renewable Energy (NPR)

The control room at CAISO headquarters near Sacramento
In California, there is so much solar energy that grid operators have to switch off solar farms. One solution of dealing with the additional power generated is to share the renewable wealth across state borders – but in the West, it's sparking some not-so-neighborly opposition.

Nancy Traweek's job is to balance California's electrical grid at the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), keeping the lights on for 30 million people. She relies on huge natural gas power plants that put out a steady stream of electricity.

But lately, Traweek's job has gotten harder because of solar and wind power. If clouds come in, solar power drops off.

"That needs to come from somewhere else immediately," she says.

There will be a GRC Fieldtrip to the headquarters of CAISO from the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo, October 23-26, Sacramento, California.

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