California Has So Much Solar Power That Other States Are Paid To Take It

“On 14 days during March, Arizona utilities got a gift from California: free solar power,” reported the Los Angeles Times. Mic reports:
California is generating so much solar energy that it is resorting to paying other states to take the excess electricity in order to prevent overloading power lines. According to the Los Angeles Times, Arizona residents have already saved millions in 2017 thanks to California’s contribution. The state, which produced little to no solar energy just 15 years ago, has made strides — it single-handedly has nearly half of the country’s solar electricity generating capacity…
When there’s too much solar energy, there is a risk of the electricity grid overloading. This can result in blackouts. In times like this, California offers other states a financial incentive to take their power. But it’s not as environmentally friendly as one would think. Take Arizona, for example. The state opts to put a pin in its own solar energy sources instead of fossil fuel power, which means greenhouse gas emissions aren’t getting any better due to California’s overproduction.
The Los Angeles Times suggests over-construction of natural gas plants created part of the problem — Californians now pay roughly 50% more than the rest of the country for power — but they report that power supplies could become more predictable when battery storage technologies improve.


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