Utility-scale solar PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) met 6.4% of California's electricity demand during June 2014, according to an analysis by renewable energy consultant Bernard Chabot.
Chabot also found that PV production peaked at around 4.15 GW mid-day on June 1st, with CSP supplying another 620 MW. This allowed the two sources together to peak at around 19% of the state's electricity demand.
This analysis relies on data from California's grid operator, which does not include behind-the-meter solar PV, such as residential and small commercial systems. GTM Research estimates that these represented another 2.617 GW of capacity at the end of the first quarter of 2014.
Electricity generation from CSP was much more even during June than in previous months. Most days the state's CSP plants produced over 5 gigawatt-hours (GWh), and only on June 26th did production drop below 2 GWh over the full day.
Chabot argues that CSP is a more appropriate technology for meeting California's electricity needs, but says that new CSP plants should incorporate storage.
Daily solar PV production was very stable in June and much less sensible than the solar thermal production to the variation of the monthly daily and hourly meteorological and solar irradiation conditions, notes Chabot.
This result confirms that future solar thermal power plants should be built only with storage capabilities in order to present at least the same electricity system integration performance than PV plants.
Overall, renewable energy including large hydroelectric plants met 28.8% of California's electricity demand during June. This was driven by higher wind and solar output, which has allowed renewables to meet a larger portion of demand despite increased electricity use.
Bernard Chabot's full analysis can be downloaded
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.
Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.
You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.
Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.