NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: New Energy-driven power price volatility and solutions

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    Wednesday, December 26, 2018

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: New Energy-driven power price volatility and solutions

    Projected US renewables could accelerate power price volatility — what can grid operators do? It will take a renewables-friendly grid and grid-friendly renewables to keep markets flowing.

    Herman K. Trabish, June 21, 2018 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The research described here and the curtailment it describes are the focus of increasing attention by grid operators and policy solutions are beginning to emerge.

    New forecasts say the high penetrations of renewables coming onto the U.S. power system by 2030 could accelerate recent isolated instances of negative and spiking prices in wholesale markets. Research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) shows higher renewables penetrations could cause these supply-demand imbalances more frequently, imposing instability in power markets. If this growth pattern continues, as many expect it will, grid operators and renewables developers will need to act to neutralize price volatility by making the electric power system more flexible, the LBNL researchers reported.

    As more solar and wind power comes online, renewables penetrations are reaching unprecedented levels in some places. On March 31, wind momentarily reached a North American record of over 62% of Southwest Power Pool (SPP) generation. On April 28, renewables met 72.7% of demand for the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). While the numbers are much smaller nationally, broader indications show unremitting growth of variable renewable energy (VRE). Grid operators are implementing a variety of steps to integrate that new capacity while minimizing adverse impacts on the system… click here for more

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