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SPOTLIGHT

2. ELECTRICITY

To bridge gaps in wind and solar generation, aging grid learns flexibility

At 2 p.m. on a sunny afternoon in June of this year, solar power in California surged to a new milestone. Over the course of an hour, photovoltaic panels and other arrays generated more than 2,000 megawatts of electricity -- a record for the Golden State and for California ISO, its systems operator. Seven hours later, as the sun set into the Pacific Ocean, that output fell to zero. Intermittency, or the inconstant supply of wind and solar power, represents one of the most difficult roadblocks to the world's deployment of renewable energy.

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