Earlier this week, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reported that more solar was installed in the second quarter of 2012 than during all of 2009, thanks in part to California’s solar activity.
California installed 217 MW in the second quarter, according to SEIA’s report and the state’s power grid operator just announced solar generation topped 1,003 MW in August, a new peak record.
The state has an aggressive renewable portfolio standard (RPS)–utilities are required to get 33 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020. In order to meet that goal, transmission companies are upgrading power lines around the state over the next several years.
These upgrades will allow more than 22,000MW of additional clean power to be transmitted throughout California.
There is a lot of renewable potential waiting to come online in California. The state’s Independent System Operator (ISO) said that more than 35,000 MW of renewable energy potential will be seeking to interconnect to the main power grid in the future. Over 27,000 MW of that potential is solar.
Among the large clean energy projects that will soon contribute to California’s grid is the 370 MW Ivanpah LPT solar thermal project, currently the largest solar plant under construction in the world. It boasts mega companies NRG Energy, BrightSource, Bechtel and Google as backers.