Sunny California ISO sees solar generation hit record 8,030 MW

The California ISO (CAIS0) saw its solar power production hit a record of 8,030 MW shortly after 1 p.m. local time on Tuesday, July 12, the ISO reported in a July 14 news release.

This is nearly twice the amount of solar energy produced in mid-2014 and nearly 2,000 MW higher than May 2015, the ISO said.

Solar and wind combined with the other renewable portfolio standard (RPS) resources to provide nearly 29% of the electricity needs at the ISO’s July 12 system peak. For short period of time on May 14 and 15 of this year, renewables were serving 54% and 56% of demand, respectively, the ISO said.

“California continues to lead the nation in adding clean resources to the system and writing a playbook for operating a lower carbon grid,” said California ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich.

The state is targeting 50% renewable penetration by 2030.

California leads the nation interconnecting renewable resources with total clean energy capacity at rough 18,700 MW, according to the ISO. More renewable energy will be needed in the state in coming years given that Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is expecting to close both Diablo Canyon nuclear units by late summer of 2025.

The California ISO will also increasingly look to tap the Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) to import renewable energy from other Western states to serve California customers.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at