California Produces 4gW of Solar

On March 8, the state's solar production met 18% of load.

FOLSOM, Calif. (ISO release) – Solar power production hit a new record of 4,093 megawatts on Saturday, March 8, 2014. The previous record was 3,926 megawatts (MW) set the previous day on March 7.

Electricity generated from solar has more than doubled from June 7, 2013 when the California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) recorded 2,071 MW of peak production — and output has more than quadrupled from the summer of 2012. The new record generation can instantaneously power about 3 million homes.

Meanwhile, when combining ISO wind resources of 5,890 MW* and solar resources of 5,231 MW, the two resources now account for 11,121 MW interconnected to the ISO grid. In total, all renewables (including geothermal) make up about 15,000 MW of the ISO generation mix. The current 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,” says Steve Berberich, ISO President and Chief Executive Officer. “The milestones illustrate that we are well into a new era when clean, renewable energy is shouldering its share of our electricity needs — and that is exciting.”

California remains the largest producer of solar power in the nation. Meanwhile, only Texas surpasses California in wind resources installed, and California was among the top five states nationally for adding wind capacity.

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