Unlike 2001, California begins New Year awash in electric power

first_img Twitter During California’s shortages a year ago, electricity from the Northwest was scarce too. This winter, partly because of lower regional demand, the Pacific Northwest has excess power to send to California. Gregg Fishman, spokesman for the California ISO, said, “Last winter’s crisis resulted from a coincidence of factors, a bad hydroelectric [generation] year, huge economic demand for electricity, no new power plants on line, and a natural gas price spike. Take away one of those factors and the crisis would have been much less acute.” 1.2.2002 Facebook However, imports give the ISO’s Bibb the most comfort. California historically has relied on its neighbors to help it through times of peak demand. Fishman said, “We see a lot of power being offered into the market now. They have better expectations of getting paid.” Linkedin HOUSTON, Dec. 31, 2001 — In a reversal of fortune, the California Independent System Operator is awash in power, compared to last winter’s bleak periods of shortages. Voith Hydro supplying pumped storage equipment to pair with Idaho combined solar-wind project Last winter, chief ISO scheduler Tracey Bibb was desperate to find 4,000-6,000 Mw on an hourly basis to meet state electricity demand. Unlike 2001, California begins New Year awash in electric power “There’s just a lot of generation on line this year,” he said. “Last year we faced 10,000-14,000 Mw offline a day. This year not more than 7,000 Mw is offline.” Last year the state’s utilities were teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and had stopped paying for power. The state intervened and began buying electricity for the utilities. But the legislature did not authorize the expenditures until much later, creating doubts about payment and making generators reluctant to sell power. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR By chloecox – Contact Ann de Rouffignac at [email protected] The end of the drought in the Pacific Northwest has helped greatly. Ed Mosey, spokesman for the Bonneville Power Administration, a federal power agency that controls about 11,000 Mw of mostly hydroelectric power in the Pacific Northwest, said, “The drought is over. We have an average or better snow pack throughout the Cascades.” Linkedin “We are getting 1,000-2,000 Mw more an hour than we got last year in imports,” said Bibb. “Even better, it’s showing up in the day-ahead market instead of the real-time market.” Ann de RouffignacOGJ Online Avista considering RNG on way to net-zero carbon goals This time last year, the state’s grid operator struggled hour by hour to keep California lights burning as the state sank into an electricity crisis riddled with shortages, spiking prices, and bankrupt or near bankrupt utilities. This winter, gas prices are 50% lower, allowing marginally efficient generators to add to electricity supplies. More generation has come on line too: California added 2,231 Mw of capacity this year, according to ISO documents. Bibb said demand isn’t falling in California. Peak demand in January 2002 is forecast to be 63 Mw higher than last year. The California ISO says new power plants and fewer outages, more imports, and long-term contracts have helped correct the nation’s most dysfunctional energy market. RenewablesHydroelectric TAGSPGE Facebook Previous articleDistributed Generation Reduces DowntimeNext articleIndex shows manufacturing decline slowing boosting gas, power hopes chloecox “This year, I only have to come up with a couple of hundred megawatts in real time,” Bibb said. “The key is we have excess generation with few power plant outages and electricity imports are running ahead.” Electricity producers in neighboring states are now eager to sell to California. Last winter, the US Energy Secretary had to force them to sell the state power. Renewable project management firm Bradley acquired by Bureau Veritas Twitter No posts to displaylast_img read more