California’s Independent System Operator (ISO) recorded a new milestone for the state’s electric grid when solar power provided 8,030 megawatts of electricity to California’s homes and businesses. The state reached the record on July 12 at 1:06 p.m. and will see even higher levels of solar production in the future.
"This solar production record demonstrates that California is making significant strides forward in connecting low carbon resources to the grid in meeting the state's goal of reaching 33 percent renewables by 2020," said ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich. "California continues to lead the nation in adding clean resources to the system and writing a playbook for operating a low carbon grid.”
Indeed. The organization, which manages California’s electric grid is continuing to see record levels of renewable energy integrating into the state’s electric grid, with solar leading the way. The ISO said that the solar power produced on July 12 was nearly twice as much as the amount produced in mid-2014. It’s also nearly 2,000 megawatts higher than the ISO recorded in May 2015.
The state also has been making remarkable progress toward its renewable portfolio standard, which requires its utilities to source 33 percent of their of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. Already solar, wind and other renewables have come close to producing that amount in spurts. When solar was at its most productive on July 12 renewable energy provided nearly 29 percent of the electricity.
In May, when electric demand is lower renewable energy, including wind, solar, geothermal and more, produced up to 56 percent of the grid’s demand. That’s good because now California’s utilities to source 50 percent of their electricity from renewables by 2030.
In all, the state has about 18,718 megawatts of renewable energy providing power to the grid. Of that solar power is now the biggest source of renewable energy at 8,600 megawatts while wind provides 6,000 megawatts. Solar power makes up 46 percent of the total amount of renewable energy and combined with wind they make up 78 percent of the state’s renewable energy resources.Tweet