In yet another sign of solar power's increasing importance in American communities, a top green energy company in California announced that The Golden State produced more eco-friendly electricity than ever before this winter.
Back in August, California achieved the one gigawatt (GW) milestone, thanks to widespread investment by town and individual homeowners in photovoltaic (PV) solar panels systems. Roughly four months later, the West Coast state did it again by achieving a level of 1.235 GW as of January 2. The California Independent System Operator, which provides clean energy solutions, sent out a celebratory tweet that day that heralded the achievement.
"In addition to a record number of photovoltaic installations, the peak can be attributed to a clear blue sky across most of California, with cloud cover only in the mountains and extreme northeast corner of the state," wrote Chris Clarke of KCET, a California clean energy news source. "The coasts and interior valleys, which host the majority of the state's solar installations, have no clouds to impede the sunshine."
EarthTechling, a green tech media site that also covered the development, reported that the number released by CISO did not include commercial operations and off-the-grid systems that provide electricity in private communities. The source speculated that, if these figures were factored in, the actual total production capacity would be nearly double the released rate.
If you're a California resident, you should press community leaders to incorporate PV solar operations into your town or city's energy infrastructure. Not only do these set-ups encourage low-carbon lifestyles that are good for the environment, but they also help improve local finances that can be used for other purposes as well.