California sets — and then breaks — a new solar record

On Saturday, solar accounted for 18 percent of the state's electricity production

Topics: Solar Power, Wind energy, renewable energy, Electricity, California, ,

California sets -- and then breaks -- a new solar recordMaintenance workers near solar panels on a rooftop in Los Angeles(Credit: bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock)

Last Friday, California set a new record for solar power production: 3,926 megawatts, according to the state grid operator.

On Saturday, it did it again. The new record, 4,093 megawatts, is almost double that of peak production in June 2012. It accounted, at peak, for a full 18 percent of all electricity production in the state — enough to power 3 million homes.

Here’s more from Reuters:



Electricity was being produced by 78 percent of the state’s installed solar capacity Saturday, well above the 20 percent of nameplate electric capacity solar plants typically produce on an annual basis, according to the Electric Power Research Institute.

…California also has about 5,890 MW of wind generation, second only to Texas which has 11,213 MW in commercial operation.

California’s wind, solar and geothermal resources make up about 15,000 MW of the state’s generation mix. California’s wind production record stands at 4,302 MW, set June 23, 2013.

“This shows that California is making remarkable progress in not only getting new resources approved and connected to the grid, but making meaningful contributions in keeping the lights on as well,” Steve Berberich, president of the California Independent System Operator (ISO), said in a statement. ”The milestones illustrate that we are well into a new era when clean, renewable energy is shouldering its share of our electricity needs.”

Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

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