California sets solar power generation record

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The Golden State of California broke all solar power generation records last weekend when 4,093 MW of solar-fuelled power reached the grid on Saturday, smashing the day-earlier record of 3,926 MW.

The data, which was revealed by the California Independent System Operator (ISO), represents an almost 50% increase in nearly two years, when June 2012 recorded 2,071 MW of peak solar power production.

"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," said California ISO president Steve Berberich.

Saturday’s solar performance was particularly edifying for the state’s solar industry, with the Electric Power Research Institute also reporting that 78% of California’s installed solar capacity was feeding electricity to grid, accounting for 18% of the overall power demand. In layman’s terms, this means that solar powered three million Californian homes on Saturday.

"This milestone illustrates that we are well into a new era when clean, renewable energy is shouldering its share of our electricity needs," added Berberich.

Figures from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) show that California boasts the highest cumulative capacity of installed solar PV of any state, with 5.23 GW. Combined with wind and thermal power, California’s renewable energy generation capacity exceeds 15 GW.