Posted by: jbarnesca | April 27, 2012

Cluster #4 CAISO Dropout Carnage

During the last week the major surviving Utility Scale Solar developers in California have been commiserating with each other over the final results from CAISO on the dropouts of projects from both the Cluster #4 phase 1 deposit crisis and the Cluster #3 phase 2 deposits.

So take a look yourself at the tab for dropped projects from cluster #4 shown as C4 and cluster #3 shown as C3.  To my rough EXCEL addition in solar PV and wind and CST there were 23.4GW dropped from C4 and 8.1GW dropped from C3.

So from last year’s vaunted new GIP cluster process that closed at the end of March for Cluster #4 only about 6.47GW still remains from the massive submittals.  That seemed to be a dropout rate of ~78%.

This shows how little reality exists in the projections of excess renewables being developed. Wait till this Cluster #4 group gets to the phase 2 deposit stage for the next dose of $$$ due for deposits.

BTW: In my March 12th blog below I speculated about a dropout of >20GW. Got that one right!!



  1. Hey John,
    Where can I find these tabs you mentioned? I don’t see a link to a spst in this blog post. Not good news, indeed. Thanks for the post.

    • Chris,
      The CAISO spreadsheet is a little tough to get to. The post shows the proper linkage to the CAISO page. On this page try to open the spreadsheet version, not the .pdf version. It will bring up a CAISO sign in page, and keep saying yes to the page without a password(unless you have done this formally with them) for about 4-5 times then you get to the .xls spreadsheet anyway.

      Another way is to GOOGLE for CAISO queue and usually this comes up as the first item. Similar issues with getting to the active spreadseet that is always write protected.

      If they wanted you to easily have access this is not so.

  2. John, interesting analysis.
    After that huge amount of projects have been dropped, the required network upgrades are obviously going to be lower than what the Phase I studies showed. What do you think about the $/MW effect that this will have in the projects that remain in the queue? It’s true that there are less upgrades, but also less MW to allocate cost to. My feeling (and CAISO reports seem to suggest the same) is that less MW drive to lower $/MW. What do you think?

    • Tom,

      This is too complicated to give a generality, as the transmission upgrade costs are very related to the segments being lumped together in the studies. With this reset a few projects might now have a huge bill to cover by themselves, whereas some project groups will cause much less total upgrades than before and therefore have a lower bill.

      What a mess this cluster process has produced.


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