Happy New Year! California Breaks Another Solar Record

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A solar record set in winter | IMage courtesy CaISO

We reported last month that California had come close on December 19 to its all-time solar power generation record despite the weak winter sun -- an indication that the state's solar capacity has grown substantially.

Well, now we can top that: As of January 2, that old Summer record is history. For a couple hours today, California's grid-tied solar power production topped 1.2 gigawatts -- a new all-time record.

Here's the tweet from California's grid operator making it semi-official:

CA Grid reached a new solar generation peak of 1,235 MW @ 11:30 on January 2 #Solar #CAGrid #RenewableEnergy

— California ISO (@CalifornialSO) January 2, 2013

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. The coasts and interior valleys, which host the majority of the state's solar installations, have no clouds to impede the sunshine.

Today's record is likely to become history in fairly short order as well, as the days lengthen and sun rises in the sky. Just another milestone on California's road to its solar future.

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Thumbnail photo credit: Mike Baker/Flickr/Creative Commons License

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