California ISO hits new solar record

California has surpassed its record solar PV output this week, with figures from the state’s Independent Solar Operators Corporation (ISO) revealing that 8,030 MW of large-scale solar power was generated at 1:06pm, Tuesday July 12.

According to the ISO (which does not measure distributed, behind-the-meter generation), this is a 2 GW increase on May 2015, and nearly twice the amount recorded around the same time of year in 2014.

Combined with wind and other clean power resources in the Renewables Portfolio Standard, solar also provided almost 29% of the state’s electricity needs during Tuesday’s system peak, which arrived at 5:54pm. However, this percentage was some way short of the record 54% of renewable power penetration recorded on May 14 and 15, the ISO said.

California currently boasts 8.6 GW of solar capacity, with wind at 6 GW and clean energy overall providing 18.78 GW, making the state the nationwide leader in renewable energy adoption and penetration.

"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% renewables by 2020," said ISO president and CEO Steve Berberich. "California continues to lead the nation in adding clean resources to the system and writing a playbook for operating a low carbon grid."