Maintaining grid stability is a challenge as utilities rush to add renewable power to their generating portfolio. The business case for renewables is undeniable: as prices for wind turbines and solar panels keep dropping and the costs of installation go down, renewable electricity becomes some of the cheapest power available. But the inherently inconsistent nature of solar and wind energy has grid operators looking for new ways to seamlessly integrate their output into the system. This challenge is being faced around the world, and in the U.S. it is playing out initially in California.This article takes a closer look at the steps California is taking to smooth out the duck curve, a graph of power production over the course of a day that shows the timing imbalance between peak demand and renewable energy production.

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