California’s Solar Energy Sets Renewable Milestone in March

Solar plant, Barstow, Mojave Desert, California.

California set a brief milestone when it met its goal to produce around half of the state’s electricity from renewable sources for three hours on March 11, according to a new estimate from the U.S. government shows.

This is expected to be a step to California’s goal of getting half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. It was reported that the U.S. Department of Energy’s statistics division used data from the California Independent System Operator which apparently manages the electricity grid around 80% of California and some part of Nevada.

On March 11, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., around 40% of the electricity coming from the ISO grid was from large-scale solar power plants. California is featured with big solar facilities that have the capacity to generate around 9.8 gigawatts of electricity which is the output of 10 nuclear reactors.

Apart from which, the homes and businesses in the area that is served by the ISO grid have their own rooftop solar panels which generate around 5.4 gigawatts of electricity. Meanwhile, it was estimated by the administration that on March 11, when the electricity they produced for their owners was factored in, including solar met half of the overall electricity demand in the middle of the day.

Although California’s fight against climate change has a core feature of the surge in renewable power, it still creates a set of problems. California contributes to the process known as curtailment, which is the excess solar power produced on bright summer days which is shunted off the grid. Steven Greenlee, Independent System Operator spokesman said, that they were seeing the potential for more curtailment during this summer.

Meanwhile, California is taking concrete steps towards achieving 50% of all electricity coming from renewable sources by 2030.

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