NERC sees California set to double solar, wind capacity by 2020

The state of California is preparing to double the power generation it derives from wind power and solar energy in the next seven years as electric power companies work to meet the thresholds set by California's 33 percent by 2020 renewable portfolio standard (RPS).

California, which has one of the most ambitious RPS regimes in any U.S. state, is about to bring online another 8 GW of renewable energy by the end of the RPS deadline in 2020, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) and the California Independent System Operator (California ISO).

NERC and the California ISO are scrutinizing the renewable energy resources of California because the power grid entities need to know what the ISO can do to keep power flowing across the grid reliably and without interruptions as more renewable energy is added onto the grid.

According to the assessment, the power grid run by the California ISO has 10.7 GW of wind and solar power, and this capacity will increase to 18.7 MW by 2020.

NERC recommended that power companies in California use natural gas peaker plants with fast-start capabilities that can ramp up when the solar or wind resource is low or unavailable.

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