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For two minutes, California ran almost entirely on solar and wind energy

Solar and wind energy ran the electrical grid solely on Saturday for a brief period
Credit: AP
Gen Nashimoto, of Luminalt, installs solar panels in Hayward, Calif., on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. From New York to California, the U.S renewable energy industry is reeling from the new coronavirus pandemic, which has delayed construction and sowed doubts about major projects on the drawing board. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

CALIFORNIA, USA — California's energy load was sustained at 99.87% for two minutes on April 30 around 2:50 p.m.

Anne Gonzalez with the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) says, "the previous record was initially broken at 2:28 p.m., but the percentage of load served by renewables continually increased for about 20 minutes until 2:50 p.m. when it sustained 99.87% for approximately 2 minutes."

That previous record was set April 3, 2022 at 97.58%.

CAISO manages 80% of California’s electrical gird, and it’s power flow over long distances. Power companies buy and sell energy based on ISO’s forecasts for demand before it is delivered. CAISO says they deliver power to nearly 32 million customers.

Solar energy makes up about two-thirds of renewable energy with wind energy coming in second.

Credit: CA ISO

California has many options in renewable energy. Aside from solar and wind, the state has geothermal, biomass, solar thermal and hydropower to help in providing renewable energy to the grid.

 As of late, drought conditions have made it harder to use hydro energy, like the ones in Lake Oroville, but the option is still there when the state receives more rain and snow.

The need to run on renewable energy is also being driven by California Senate bill 100. This bill requires renewable energy and zero-carbon emissions to be achieved by electrical retail sales like utility companies by 2045.


A first-in-the-nation project to put solar panels over canals begins near Turlock

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