Renewable electricity has long been the center of Californian endeavors and the state broke its record Saturday for renewable energy meeting electricity demands.
According to the Desert Sun, the milestone was met due to large quantities of solar power being produced along Interstate 10, just about an hour east of the Coachella Valley. Initially, an official online supply tracker left environmentalists rejoicing, as the number had jumped to 101 percent. This was then checked by power officials, who announced Monday that the data was slightly skewed by battery charging, reserves, and other resource needs.
Energy demand statewide hit 18,672 megawatts last weekend, likely at the expense of the annual Stagecoach music festival in Indio. Just five minutes after that number was hit, California reached 99.87 percent of load served by all renewables—beating out the previous record of 97.58 percent.
About two-thirds of that roughly 18,000 megawatts were provided by solar power funneled into the energy grid, or approximately 12,391 megawatts. The remaining demands were met by wind, geothermal, and other renewable energy sources.
Environmentalists littered throughout California celebrated the milestone, including the later-corrected 101 percent statistics.
Dan Jacobson, senior advisor to Environment California, and the man who spearheaded SB 100, California’s 2018 law that required the state to reach 100 percent clean energy by 2045, was amongst those toasting the milestone.
“4 years ago @JerryBrownGov signed #sb100. Today we hit 100% and broke past it! A great day for clean energy,” Jacobson tweeted.
— Dan Jacobson (@DanDjsacramento) April 30, 2022
“Once it hit 100 percent we were very excited,” Laura Deehan, executive director for Environment California, told the Desert Sun. She added that “California solar plants play a really big role.”
Environment California has been at the helm of pushing for 100 percent clean energy—the organization’s work spans two decades and has ushered in a range of stricter energy mandates. The group also strongly advocated for the now-achieved one million solar rooftops statewide. Many contests this is more ecofriendly than solar farms, as those consume large plots of land in both the Mojave Desert and other delicate landscapes.
Deehan and Environment California are still pushing for more action, especially at the federal level.
“Despite incredible progress illustrated by the milestone this weekend, a baffling regulatory misstep by the Biden administration has advocates concerned about backsliding on California’s clean energy targets,” Deehan added.
Regardless of the drawbacks, Deehan still took a moment to celebrate, herself, saying that “California has shown that, for one brief and shining moment, we could do it! It’s time to move to 100% clean energy, 100% of the time.”
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.