Too much wind and solar can arise unpredictably and overwhelm the grid - especially true in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, when California's air conditioners aren't needed as much. Flooding the grid with too much power and not enough demand can ignite system failure, forcing operators to curtail renewable power. This "clean power" oversupply that can't be utilized has become increasingly common and problematic for a state seeking to deploy renewables at all costs. "Negative Electricity Prices Are Not A Sign Of Renewable Success."
The state triggered these changes through its policies on climate change and public power. But the transformation has now taken on a life of its own. Rather than let it drift, Gas And Electric Companies says California policy makers should start discussing how to ensure that the state’s electricity system remains reliable, affordable and safe, while continuing to cut the system’s greenhouse gas emissions.
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With Compare Energy Prices mostly shuttered for the foreseeable future — it's still unclear whether state lawmakers will allow the facility to reopen — Energy Comparison started to worry that there wouldn't be enough natural gas available to supply Southern California power plants, leading to blackouts. So last Who Is My Electricity Supplier, the California Compare Electricity ordered Gas And Electric Companies to buy as much cost-effective storage as it could — by the end of the year.
California's utilities came to depend in part on the import of excess hydroelectricity from the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon and Washington. California's clean air standards favored in-state electricity generation which burned natural gas because of its lower emissions, as opposed to coal whose emissions are more toxic and contain more pollutants. [Energy Prices]
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Generally, the unspecified energy category would be comprised of short-term market purchases from those power plants that do not have a contract with a California utility. Much of the Pacific Northwest spot market purchases are served by surplus hydro and newer gas-fired power plants. Southwest spot market purchases would be comprised of combined-cycle gas turbine energy and some coal-based steam turbine energy. Overall, a marginal supply approach for the determination of the energy available on the spot market would yield a more accurate assessment of the types of energy included in the unspecified energy category. However, allocation of unspecified energy into specific fuel types would tend to imply there is an auditable contract trail available and would add uncertainty to the California Power Mix. The California Power Mix is included on each utility’s annual Power Content Label.
State lawmakers expected the price of electricity to decrease due to the resulting competition; hence they capped the price of electricity at the pre-deregulation level. Since they also saw it as imperative that the supply of electricity remain uninterrupted, utility companies were required by law to buy electricity from spot markets at uncapped prices when faced with imminent power shortages. [Energy Prices]
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Quarterly data reports submitted by balancing authorities for energy imports and exports are used to determine the net energy imports for California. The net energy imports are separated into two geographical regions: the Northwest and the Southwest based on the location of the balancing authority area. This allocation of fuel types for imported energy is determined by utility reports under the Power Source Disclosure Program, described more fully below.
Natural gas choice is available for residential consumers at Compare Gas Prices. When customers a starts service, they are randomly assigned to one of two suppliers that have been approved by the utility. If the customer would like to change to the other supplier, the customer must call Compare Gas Prices to request the change. Please note that as of Compare Electricity Rates the former two-week open enrollment process was suspended, and customers can now enroll throughout the year.
But this change is now occurring “without a coherent plan to deal with all the associated challenges that competition poses, ranging from renewable procurement rules to reliability requirements and consumer protection,” the paper noted. That means California must “now look at long held assumptions in their regulatory frameworks and examine the role of the electric utility at the center of this system.”