Renewable energy records set in California and Texas


Figures from the California Independent System Operator (Cal ISO) revealed this week show that the Golden State broke its own one-day record for solar PV generation on June 1 when 4767 MW of utility scale solar energy was fed into the grid.

The record smashed California’s previous one-day best of 4100 MW in March, which also stood as the highest one-day figure for the whole of the U.S.

California’s solar footprint is growing bigger with each passing day, week and month, with May recording three times as much solar generation as recorded during the same month in 2013. In total, solar PV powered 6% of Cal ISO’s total electric load in May, rising to 14% during peak hours, according to data gathered by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In 2013, California added 2145 MW of utility scale solar.

In Texas, wind power accounted for 30% of the state’s electric load on March 26, generating 10.2 GW of electricity according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Regulators in Texas expect that record to be outstripped again shortly as the state’s wind capacity rises above 12 GW.

Last year was a record 12 months for renewable energy generation in the U.S. The solar sector grew by 41% in 2013, with California responsible for more than half of new PV capacity. For the remainder of 2014, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects California to add an additional 1728 MW of utility scale solar before the year is out.