California grid set record of 97% renewable power on April 3

Good News Notes:

In another sign of progress toward a carbon-free power grid, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) set a new record on April 3, when 97.6% of electricity on the grid came from clean, renewable energy. The peak, which occurred briefly at 3:39 p.m., broke the previous record of 96.4% set on March 27, 2022.

Before that, the grid’s record for clean power was 94.5%, set on April 21, 2021. The new milestone comes as the ISO integrates growing amounts of renewable energy onto the grid in support of the state’s clean energy goals.

“This new record is testament to the hard work and collaboration of many people, from policymakers to system operators,” said ISO president and CEO Elliot Mainzer. “While these all-time highs are for a brief time, they solidly demonstrate the advances being made to reliably achieve California’s clean energy goals.”

Ashutosh Bhagwat, chair of the ISO Board of Governors, said the new record is a tribute to California’s ambitious policy goals on climate and clean energy.

“When we see renewable energy peaks like this, we are getting to re-imagine what the grid will look like for generations to come,” he said. “These moments help crystallize the vision of the modern, efficient and sustainable grid of the future.”

Rooftop solar advocacy group Save California Solar said although this milestone should be celebrated, California’s renewable energy progress is better measured by conditions on a hot August summer day than a cool April spring day. Renewable peaks typically occur in the spring, due to mild temperatures and the sun angle allowing for an extended window of strong solar production.

Save California Solar said rooftop solar is critical to yearlong clean energy stability, but the net-metering successor program is still hanging in the balance at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)….”

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