California Sets Another Solar Power Record

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California has one of the country’s most determined renewable energy programs. By 2020, the state aims to generate 33 percent of its power from renewable sources, including solar power.

Solar Power Record

California is becoming known for its solar power, and this winter the state set a new record in solar power generation during not only the winter months – but during the shortest day of the year.

Winter days deliver about four fewer hours of daylight in California when compared to the summer days, but that’s not stopping the state from setting peak solar power generation records.

In August of last year, California passed the milestone of 1,029 megawatts (MW) of solar power production. To the surprise of many citizens in California and around the world, the state nearly reached that peak August generation level during the week of the Winter Solstice, which is the least-sunny time of the year, setting a new winter solar power generation record.

On December 19, solar power generation reached between 950 to 1000 MW. It’s an important milestone because during the Winter Solstice, the sun is lower in the sky than at any other time of year, which means that there is much less solar energy available for solar panels to utilize.

Just a few days later, on New Year’s Eve, the California Independent System Operator tweeted early that solar output had set a new record of 1,122 megawatts, and on January 2 hit 1,235 MW. Solar power companies in San Diego were excited to hear the news of this record, and even more excited to help the state reach more solar milestones in the coming year.

The significant point here isn’t just the about of MW generated, but also how California’s solar energy generating capacity has grown significantly since the August record was set; and when compared to last year, the growth is especially impressive. In December 2011, for example, there was a maximum of only 200 MW of solar power production generated.

California has one of the country’s most determined renewable energy programs. By 2020, the state aims to generate 33 percent of its power from renewable sources, including solar power.

Throughout the state, San Francisco to San Diego solar panel installations are becoming more common, and the growth is expected to continue – or even increase – in 2013. What a great way for California to start the New Year!

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