The state of California in the United States is often referred to as the ‘golden state’ as it is believed to be the richest of all the states due to the economic viability of the area. For the past few years, renewable energy has been produced to supply clean and affordable energy there. Now, California has broken all the solar generation records because of it.
According to California’s Independent Solar Operators Corporation (ISO), 8,030 megawatts of large-scale solar power was generated at 1:06 p.m. on July 12, nearly doubling the amount of solar energy produced in mid-2014, and nearly 2,000 megawatts higher than in May 2015.
This new record was set solely by large solar plants. It does not take into consideration 537,637 smaller solar panel arrays installed on private homes and business’ rooftops. According to San Francisco Gate, that’s enough energy to power more than 6 million households.
“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,” ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich said.
The ISO noted that at peak electricity demand on Tuesday at 5:54 p.m., almost 29 percent of electricity needs were met by the state’s vast renewable energy portfolio that includes solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels, small hydroelectricity and energy storage.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has consistently ranked California as the nation’s top solar state. In April, SEIA reported that California has more solar jobs and installed more megawatts of solar capacity last year than any other U.S. state. Its 13,241 megawatts of cumulatively-installed solar capacity is capable of powering an estimated 3.32 million homes.
According to the U.S. Department,
“for both utility-scale solar PV and solar thermal, California has more capacity than [the] rest of the country combined, with 52 percent and 73 percent of the nation’s total, respectively.”
In 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that requires state-regulated utilities to get 50 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydro by 2030. The original bill, introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, is a part of a larger suite of climate-related legislation introduced this year.
“California is laying the groundwork for a healthier and sustainable future for all of our families,” de Leon said in an emailed statement to ThinkProgress. “We are showing [the] world through innovation how we can transition and increase access to renewable energy while cleaning up the air we breathe, especially in our most polluted communities.”
De Leon said the new steps built on the state’s climate leadership but that “our efforts to reduce carbon emissions are far from over as global warming and air pollution remain one of the most important issues of our generation and one of the greatest threats for generations to come.”