California sets new record for solar energy production

California recently surpassed a new record for solar power production, producing 8,030 megawatts of energy earlier this month in response to a heat wave sweeping across the state.

The record was made Tuesday, July 12, and the amount of energy produced that day was nearly twice the amount produced during Summer 2014 and 2,000 megawatts higher than in May 2015, according to the California Independent System Operator Corporation (an independent nonprofit based in Folsom, California).

"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 percent renewables by 2020," Steve Berberich, the organization’s president and CEO, said in a press release announcing the new record. "California continues to lead the nation in adding clean resources to the system and writing a playbook for operating a low carbon grid."

The organization stated in the release that 29 percent of the electricity needs were fulfilled by solar and wind energy resources during the grid’s peak demand, which occurred around 6 p.m. that evening. For short stints in May, the organization said renewables were accounting for up to 56 percent of total energy supply for the state.

“California leads the nation interconnecting renewable resources with total clean capacity as of this date about 18,718 megawatts,” according to the news release. “Solar resources make up nearly 8,600 megawatts while wind resources total about 6,000 megawatts, which compose one-third of all renewables on the grid. Geothermal, biofuels, small hydro-electricity and energy storage round out California's renewables portfolio standard resources.”

The California Independent System Operators Corp., a self-described “nonprofit benefit corporation", partners with around 100 clients to provide access to California’s power grid (one of the largest in the world) and to leverage its continual development and reliable operation.

“Recognizing the importance of the global climate challenge, the ISO is at the forefront of integrating renewable power and advanced technologies that will help meet a sustainable energy future efficiently and cleanly,” according to the organization’s website (