June 28, 2017

TAKE MY SUBSIDIZED POWER — PLEASE! California invested heavily in solar power. Now there’s so much that other states are sometimes paid to take it.

On 14 days during March, Arizona utilities got a gift from California: free solar power.

Well, actually better than free. California produced so much solar power on those days that it paid Arizona to take excess electricity its residents weren’t using to avoid overloading its own power lines.

It happened on eight days in January and nine in February as well. All told, those transactions helped save Arizona electricity customers millions of dollars this year, though grid operators declined to say exactly how much. And California also has paid other states to take power.

And this next bit is especially rich:

No single entity is in charge of energy policy in California. This has led to a two-track approach that has created an ever-increasing glut of power and is proving costly for electricity users. Rates have risen faster here than in the rest of the U.S., and Californians now pay about 50% more than the national average.

California has so much energy that no one can afford it, except for neighboring states who sometimes get paid to take it.

Free markets tend to self-correct problems like this — if they ever crop up in the first place. But California’s lunacy is mandated by law.

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