Solar power in California grid crosses 6,000 MW threshold
California’s progress in adopting solar energy panels to generate clean, renewable power is second to none in the United States, and there’s no greater proof of that than the long list of record-setting accomplishments the state has racked up in just the last couple years. Californians can now add one more achievement to that constantly growing list: 6,000 megawatts (MW) of solar-derived power flowing through the state’s energy grid.
The California Independent System Operator (CaISO) determined that at 11:39 a.m., on Thursday, April 16, the state’s energy grid derived 6,000 MW of power from solar sources. Not only does this beat the previous record of 5,935 MW, but it also signifies a fourfold increase in solar-generated power from just two years ago. And as the Los Angeles television station KCET points out, this record-setting figure may be underselling the actual amount of solar energy flowing throughout California.
“CaISO only tracks solar power (and other renewables) that generate power on the utilities’ side of the electric meter, so that tentative 6,000-megawatt figure doesn’t include most rooftop solar setups in the state,” KCET reports. “In fact, the California Solar Initiative counts 2,374 megawatts of residential and commercial rooftop solar installed by customers of the state’s three largest utilities as of last week, and that’s not including a lot of potential solar being generated by customers of public utilities such as Los Angeles’ Department of Water and Power, so the actual amount of solar electricity flowing into California wires [on Thursday, April 16] might be closer to 9,000 megawatts.”
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