Monday, February 3, 2014

Solar Power Generation Growth in the West

Solar power is eating market share from within and without.  It is estimated that California has over 2,000 MW of distributed solar now, and the on-grid generation exceeds 3,000 MW, with some large new plants coming online in 2014.

Total generation in California (CAISO Market) is unfortunately falling at the same time.  Here is the daily CAISO output in January, clearly lagging Jan '13 every single day of the month.  The peak hour rates reflect this as well.  

Meanwhile on-grid solar (PV + Thermal) is well above last year, and likely to grow meaningfully in '14:

The summer sun angle and long daylight should push daily output above 25 GWh soon, and at peak A/C times this is valuable power.  Meanwhile the utilities are spending a bundle of money on feed-in tariffs as rooftop solar spreads quickly.