California ISO finds summer 2015 supply adequate

The California Independent System Operator Corp. (ISO) analysis finds electricity supplies will be sufficient to meet the 2015 summer peak even under the extreme scenario of hot temperatures that only occur once every decade or so. A boost to grid reliability will come from additional generation, mostly solar, that has interconnected to the system, stable imports and only moderate peak demand growth. The ISO’s analysis – 2015 Summer Loads and Resources Assessment – was released May 7.

“It is always a challenge to operate the grid under the high loads produced by sweltering summer temperatures, but our analysis shows we have the resources available to meet California’s need this year,” said ISO CEO and President Steve Berberich. “We will keep a close watch on the system, particularly in Southern California where fires, high demand and transmission congestion can cause concerns.”

Although the multi-year drought is reducing hydroelectric availability to the lowest level in 10 years, it will not materially impact grid reliability. Also, energy imports to the ISO are expected to be normal.

Since summer of 2014, 2,328 megawatts of new generation has been added to the grid with solar resources accounting for 96 percent of the interconnections. Currently, about 6,700 megawatts of solar resources are connected to the grid with about 6,100 megawatts of wind. In total, 16,300 megawatts of renewable resources are interconnected and producing clean energy for consumers use and represent about 25 percent of the total resource mix.

In addition, the ISO has identified about 1,840 megawatts of demand response and interruptible load programs will be available this summer as well.