Wave energy converters have yet to reach broad market viability. Traditionally, levelized cost of energy has been considered the ultimate stage gate through which wave energy developers must pass in order to find success (i.e., the levelized cost of wave energy must be less than that of solar and wind). However, real world energy decisions are not based solely on levelized cost of energy. In this study, we consider the energy mix in California in the year 2045, upon which the state plans to achieve zero carbon energy production. By considering temporal electricity production and consumption, we are able to perform a more informed analysis of the decision process to address this challenge. The results show that, due to high level of ocean wave energy in the winter months, wave energy provides a valuable complement to solar and wind, which have higher production in the summer. Thus, based on this complementary temporal aspect, wave energy appears cost-effective, even when the cost of installation and maintenance is twice that of solar and wind.