California ISO sets solar power generation record

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Solar power production hit a new record of 4,093 MW in the territory of the California Independent System Operator Corporation (California ISO) March 8, 2014. The previous record was 3,926 MW set the previous day on March 7.

Solar energy production has more than doubled from June 7, 2012 when the California 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, combining ISO wind energy 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 power generation mix. The current wind power genertion 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 CEO. “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 power capacity.

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