Power Grid Failure Causes some to Blame Solar

Daytona Everett

There’s a push to go solar but have we pushed it too far? Senator Melissa Melendez says yes.

On Facebook she posted:

“California’s residential electric power rates are 55.8% higher than the average of other states. CA’s commercial power rates are 69.7% higher than those of other states. CA’s industrial rates are 115% higher. Alternative energy technologies aren’t the golden ticket. They are intermittent and unpredictable since they depend on the weather. Also, at the large scale needed, storage is simply not a viable option. Supply and demand have to be equal on the electrical grid, when you add new energy, say from solar, existing energy has to be taken off. All of these things, in the end add up to one thing. Increased cost for the consumer. All in the the name of the misguided pursuit of 100% renewable energy.”

Renova Solar CEO Vincent Battaglia said is some ways, she’s right.

“Solar technology was built so that those portable tech panels can go up on small spaces,” Battaglia said. “It wasn’t built for large scale out in a field.”

Solar “farms” are the new fad but Battaglia said they’re not reliable.

“The regulators who are in charge of the flow of electrons, when they decide to close those down, then that energy is stuck out in those fields.”

Local energy provider, IID, has not been affected by any of the recent outages. 

In an email to NBC Palm Springs they said:

“IID and its customers have not been affected by rolling outages. IID is its own balancing authority; we are not part of the California Independent System Operator and CAISO’s rotating outage orders do not apply to IID customers. Like other utilities, however, during this heat wave IID has been preparing for an increase in energy demand and we continue to work to procure energy supplies and we continue to encourage our customers to conserve energy. Regarding the solar question, our energy portfolio is diverse and while solar is part of it, it’s not our sole source of energy

CAISO, who has been issuing the outages in Northern and Southern California had this to say in a media briefing on Tuesday.

“Renewables have not caused this issue, this is a resource issue.”

CAISO said they know there’s a deficiency in the grid but it’s something they’ll have to tackle later.

“I’m sure when we’re through this, we will be having conversations about how better to do this.”

Battaglia said they can do it now by utilizing individual systems.

He said when Renova installs panels on houses, they’re “small solar systems that are essentially power plants and we couple them with batteries but we do it in a micro-grid configuration.”

Scientists are saying a lack of energy storage could be the cause of the outages. It’s likely the state will look at ways to increase storage while investing in grid resources to reduce the load.

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