With Governor Jerry Brown’s recent call for 50% of the state’s energy to come from renewable sources, California’s power grid operators are focusing on meeting the emerging challenges this call brings to the energy industry.
Meeting at the California Independent System Operator (ISO) headquarters in Folsom recently, the ISO Board of Governors approved a blueprint for further greening the power grid. This blueprint, a document entitled, Pursuing a Strategic Vision for a Sustainable Energy Future, illuminates changes required to the electricity landscape and describes the ways in which California’s grid operator can meet Governor Brown’s call for more renewable sources.
Adding More Renewables Into California’s Power Grid
Steve Berberich, ISO president and chief executive officer said in a statement regarding the new document, “This strategic vision outlines how the ISO will respond to a rapidly changing electric system.” Continuing, Berberich explained, “We will keep our focus on reducing carbon, lowering costs and working collaboratively for everyone’s benefit, while maintaining a reliable grid.”
Richard Maullin, Chair of the ISO Board, noted that the vision statement is necessary because of the speed at which the energy industry is changing. Challenges are arising from increasing the amount of renewable energy that is integrated into the power grid, Maullin noted. This includes the rising incidence of overgeneration, or producing excess power at times in the day when it’s not needed.
Maullin stated, “The strategic vision summarizes the opportunities and challenges facing California and the West in the ongoing transition to a low-carbon electric grid, through the integration of more renewable energy generation into our power mix.” He continued, “The vision statement emphasizes strategies for matching supply with energy demand and coordinating usage to match energy production, and the benefits of enhanced regional cooperation for assuring grid reliability along with carbon reduction.”
A Clean, Efficient, and Sustainable Energy Future
Operating one of the largest power grids in the world, the California ISO network of high-voltage transmission power lines is supported by a competitive energy market and comprehensive grid planning. Partnering with about a hundred clients, the ISO is a nonprofit public benefit corporation, and states that it is dedicated to the continual development and reliable operation of a modern power grid for the benefit of its consumers.
“Recognizing the importance of the global climate challenge,” reports California ISO, “the ISO is at the forefront of integrating renewable power and advanced technologies that will help meet a sustainable energy future efficiently and cleanly.”