California has set nation-leading clean energy policies, but we must ensure that we maintain a reliable grid as we accelerate the transition to a cleaner grid. Building on the Joint Agencies SB100 report, this study by GridLab and Telos Energy focuses on the reliability impacts of reaching an accelerated 2030 clean electricity target that is on the path to 100% clean.
We developed three portfolios reflecting different renewable build outs and electrification levels that meet an 85% clean electricity target by 2030. These portfolios were tested in an operational model (PLEXOS) that steps through every hour of the year to see if the future clean system can serve load across a range of conditions. The study incorporated many years of weather data and exercised the system through various stress conditions (such as retiring some in-state gas, low hydro availability, west-wide coal retirements, and mimicking the August 2020 heatwave conditions). Our analysis finds that it is possible to reliably meet an 85% clean electricity target across these conditions.
A meteorological report by Sharply Focused investigates conditions when renewable output dips to low levels across consecutive days. A companion policy report developed by Energy Innovation describes how state policy can leverage resource diversity, demand-side resources, and greater interregional coordination to reduce reliability risks, while also advancing environmental justice.