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  1. Natural gas generation and electricity imports used to follow load in California

    The California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the entity responsible for maintaining the balance between supply and demand for electricity throughout most of the state, operates in a setting where demand peaks in the late afternoon or early evening on summer days. Because of differences in the hourly output of certain electricity generators, some of which are nearly constant (nuclear) and some of which can vary considerably during the day (solar, wind), output from thermal generators (mainly natural gas ) and electricity imports from other regions are used to balance overall electricity supply and demand in the region. Thermal generation in CAISO, almost all of which is natural gas , contributes the largest share of electricity generation in CAISO and has the widest range in hourly generation. Based on hourly data in June, July, and August, on the average summer day in 2016, in-region thermal power output ranged between 7.3 gigawatts and 15.2 gigawatts (GW). Over the entire summer, hourly thermal power output was as high as 25.6 GW at 5:00 p.m. on July 27, when total system demand was high, and was as low as 2.6 GW at 9:00 a.m. on June 12, an hour when demand was relatively low and renewables output was relatively high. The only nuclear facility in CAISO, Diablo Canyon, consistently provided about 2.2 GW of power after ramping up following a spring maintenance outage. Large hydroelectric facilities combined for about 2.3 GW to 4.8 GW of power on a typical day. Hydroelectric facilities, the most flexible renewable sources, were generally dispatched to coincide with electricity demand, meaning output was often highest during hours of peak electricity demand and lowest during times of low electricity demand. Some renewable fuels have more variable levels of output, particularly wind and solar. Most of CAISO's utility-scale solar generation comes from solar photovoltaic systems, whose output is dependent on solar insolation (exposure to the sun) during daylight hours. The CAISO area includes a few solar thermal facilities, some of which have energy storage that allows them to produce electricity after the sun has gone down, but these generators make up a relatively small portion of CAISO's solar output. On an average summer day, utility-scale solar output ranged from 0 GW to 7.6 GW, the largest range among renewable fuels and the only fuel to have many hours without any output. CAISO's data do not include distributed solar generation sources, which reduce the net electric load that needs to be met by utility-scale generators. Wind generators provided about 2.2 GW on average, but they ranged from near zero (0.06 GW) to more than 4 GW several times during the summer. Wind output is often at its lowest point during the middle of the day, when solar output is near its highest. Geothermal, biomass, biogas, and small hydroelectric facilities had lower but more consistent output with relatively small differences between their highest and lowest hourly output. Electricity imports are another option to supplement electricity produced by in-region sources to balance total supply with system load. Data from EIA's new electric system operating tool show electricity trades among different balancing authorities. CAISO imports electricity from nearby regions such as the Northwest and Southwest. On an average summer day, these imports range between 6.5 GW and 9.4 GW. Principal contributor: Owen Comstock

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    Fri, 9 Sep 2016

  2. Natural Gas Generation Rises to New High in July

    Power produced with natural gas reached an all-time high in July, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Tuesday.

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    Thu, 11 Aug 2016

  3. Study: Renewable energy still needs natural gas back-up

    Expansion of intermittent wind and solar power stills need backup from electricity generated by natural gas

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    Wed, 17 Aug 2016

  4. Hydroelectric plants account for more than 70% of Brazil's electric generation

    Brazil generates the third-highest amount of electricity in the Americas, behind only the United States and Canada.

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    Fri, 12 Aug 2016

  1. Hydroelectric plants account for more than 70 percent of Brazil's power

    Online Articles

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    Wed, 17 Aug 2016

  2. Study Says Renewable Power Still Reliant on Backup from Natural Gas

    White paper issued from National Bureau of Economic Research.

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    Wed, 17 Aug 2016

  3. California natural gas power plant ready to fire up

    The project located in San Diego County, has a 25-year power purchase agreement with Sempra Energy utility SDG&E  

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    Wed, 24 Aug 2016

  4. Apex Power Official Says Pio Pico in California About to Start Commercial Operation

    300-MW gas plant already has long-term power contract.

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    Wed, 24 Aug 2016

  5. Power Utility News: Duke Energy Progress to ask for 15 percent rate hike in SC

    Duke Energy Progress is asking officials in South Carolina to allow the utility to raise electric rates by nearly 15 percent for its 168,000 customers in the state.

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    Wed, 6 Jul 2016

  6. In Carolinas, Duke Now Getting Upwards of 25% of Power From Gas

    CEO Good touts Piedmont deal, pipeline investments.

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    Mon, 8 Aug 2016

  7. EIA: Gas -Fired Generation to Reach Record Level in 2016

    Natural gas-fired electricity generation in the United States is expected to reach record levels this year, according to a report issued today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). 

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    Thu, 14 Jul 2016

  8. After Piedmont deal, Duke Carolinas gets 25% of power from gas

    CEO Good touts Piedmont deal, pipeline investments

    Online Articles

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    Tue, 9 Aug 2016

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