On Saturday April 30th, renewable electricity met 100% of California‘s electricity demand for the first time ever. According to American news outlet Desert Sun, more than 37,000 megawatts were available to meet the energy demands across the state. The power source was renewable, according to a continuous tracker provided by California Independent System Operator, or CAISO, a nonprofit that oversees the state’s bulk electric power system and transmission lines
Two thirds of the 18,000 megawatts needed was provided by solar power loaded into the energy grid, or 12,391 megawatts, the Desert Sun reported. It last for almost 15 minutes before edging back down to about 97% renewables.
California busts past 100% on this historic day for clean energy.Dan Jacobson, senior advisor to Environment California
Already in early April, the state’s main grid was running on more than 97% renewable energy, surpassing the previous record of 96.4% set just a week earlier, the California Independent System Operator reported
“While these record highs are for a short period of time, they demonstrate the progress being made toward reliably meeting California’s clean energy goals,” California ISO CEO Elliot Mainzer said in the release.
According to the grid operator, solar and wind generation typically peak in the spring, due to mild temperatures and the extended periods of strong solar exposure. Dan Jacobson, senior advisor to Environment California, ran the campaign for SB 100, California’s 2018 law requiring the state to use 100% clean energy by 2045.
Once it hit 100% we were very excited. California solar plants play a really big role.Laura Deehan, executive director for Environment California
While the new renewables record is notable, the state has been hard-pressed to find power sources over the past two summers as it has added more intermittent sources and retired natural gas plants for environmental reasons.
“California has shown that, for one brief and shining moment, we could do it. Now we need to get our state running on 100% clean energy for the whole day, the whole week, and the whole year. It’s time to move to 100% clean energy, 100% of the time,” Deehan concluded.