Long regarded as a leader in sustainable energy, California continues its ascent to the top of the renewable energy market with the help of solar financing solutions. According to grid operator California ISO (Cal-ISO), a record-breaking 2,071 megawatts (MW) of solar electricity were produced last Friday, which totaled 5% of the afternoon’s peak demand. State officials report that the output more than doubled the state’s previous record of 1,000 MW set in September, 2012.
A recent report published by The Energy Collective, an independent think tank, revealed that solar power will account for a staggering 97 percent of all new electricity generation slated for the second half of 2013. And, if “shared renewables” legislation moves forward, more than 75 percent of utility customers will benefit from new solar projects statewide, according to the report.
“We are excited by this trend and expect to hit more record peaks on a regular basis,” said Steve Berberich, Cal-ISO President and CEO. “We have more solar facilities that are connected to the grid, and just like any renewable resource on that particular day and on that particular time, we had quality sunshine that we were able to convert into electricity.”
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) ranked California first in solar production nationwide, with the ability to generate enough power to sustain more than 600,000 households. SEIA reports ranked California’s photovoltaic capacity as the seventh most powerful on a global scale.
The state-funded California Solar Initiative (CSI) is projected to install an additional 1,940 MW of solar capacity by the end of 2016, and the state’s expanding cap-and-trade system is expected to generate new funding for low-carbon energy sources. Renewable energy is likely to remain at the forefront of state legislation as elected officials lobby on behalf of solar power financing as a key component to the state’s economic vitality.