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2016-07-02. Diablo Canyon closure shows California’s power grid is changing fast.

posted Jul 3, 2016, 8:42 PM by Alan Gould
By David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle. For GSS Energy Use chapter 4. Excerpt: When Diablo opened in 1985, big plants produced large amounts of electricity and fed it to a grid where power basically flowed one way, from generator to customer. Think of water pouring through a network of pipes to numerous taps: Utilities controlled the whole flow, from source to sink. Now, many businesses and homeowners produce their own energy. A solar array is installed in PG&E’s territory every six minutes. Many generate more electricity than they need during the day, feeding the excess back onto the grid. Huge amounts of solar power flood the grid at midday, falling off sharply in late afternoon. Wind power surges at night. Power flows fluctuate with the weather. ...Nuclear plants of Diablo’s generation were designed to ramp up to full throttle and stay there day and night, providing “baseload” power for the grid. But that, increasingly, is not what California needs. “We’re transitioning, clearly, to a distributed system where you rely less and less on those big resources and more on distributed resources,” said Stephen Berberich, CEO of the California Independent System Operator, which manages the grid. ...community choice also gives Californians a new option for buying power....  http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Diablo-Canyon-closure-shows-California-s-power-8337353.php