Solar causing 3x the power plant cycling of wind
Littleton, Colorado – Renewable Impacts announces that its research of historical CAISO power plant cycling causality indicates that solar generation is causing substantially more power plant cycling causality than wind. While a 1 percentage point increase in wind energy penetration was found to increase wind cycling causality by 1%, a similar increase in solar energy penetration was found to increase solar cycling causality by 3%.
This finding suggests that as CAISO solar penetration grows it will increase power plant wear and tear at CAISO power plants more than a similar increase in wind penetration. The new research covers over 100 specific California power plants in the CAISO balancing authority including the sub-categories of combustion turbines, steam turbines, combined cycles and cogenerators and plant specific reports can be found here.
“All indications point to much higher levels of solar generation in the future but this may come at a substantial cost to existing generators and increased system reliability issues,” says James R. Schetter, president of Renewable Impacts LLC. Mr. Schetter adds, “Our cycling causality studies of CAISO clearly identify that when compared to wind, solar caused much higher levels of power plant cycling causality. Any planned expansion of renewables should be evaluated for this impact.”