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California invested heavily in solar power. Now there’s so much that other states are sometimes paid to take it

Posted by   /  June 22, 2017  /  1 Comment

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By Ivan Penn | Los Angeles Times

n 14 days during March, Arizona utilities got a gift from California: free solar power. Well, actually better than free. California produced so much solar power on those days that it paid Arizona to take excess electricity its residents weren’t using to avoid overloading its own power lines.

It happened on eight days in January and nine in February as well. All told, those transactions helped save Arizona electricity customers millions of dollars this year, though grid operators declined to say exactly how much. And California also has paid other states to take power.

The number of days that California dumped its unused solar electricity would have been even higher if the state hadn’t ordered some solar plants to reduce production — even as natural gas power plants, which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, continued generating electricity.

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1 Comment

  1. Sue says:

    if the solar power is (relatively) free, and the natural gas power plants cost money to run, why don’t they reduce the output of the natural gas plants, and replace it with the solar? Oh, let me guess: Follow the Money.

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