Southern California environment news and trends

Solar added more power to state electric grid than ever before

solar plant

Photo credit: LADWP

Located about 65 miles north of L.A. near the community of Adelanto, a project managed by the LA Department of Water and Power produces 10 megawatts of power.

Thursday marked a milestone for California solar energy, with the state's solar facilities adding more electricity to the grid than ever before. 

The state’s Independent System Operator, CalISO, controls the electric grid in California. It tracks supply and demand – and on Thursday more than 3,000 megawatts of electricity from the sun flowed into the state’s power distribution system.

Very roughly, that’s enough to power about 3 million homes. According to CalISO, solar producers delivered three times as much electricity as they did a year ago.

And that’s not ALL of California’s solar energy.

CalISO doesn't track power from residential rooftop solar panels, whose contributions are counted "behind the meter," meaning at the source. As a result, there's probably a couple of thousand more megawatts of solar panels and projects that contribute to the grid.

California's been breaking its daily peak solar generation record fairly regularly; this has happened before. But regulators and those in the energy industry say the new solar record is a sign of progress as the state tries to reach a goal of 33 percent renewable sources within 6 years. 

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