Windmills in a California desert. Courtesy SDG&E
Windmills in a California desert. Courtesy SDG&E

San Diego Gas & Electric marked a milestone last week when it generated a record 1,042 megawatts  — more than the venerable Encina power station in Carlsbad — from renewable energy.

The record was set at 12:51 p.m. Aug. 19 during the recent Southern California heat wave.

“A combination of bright sunshine and strong wind conditions in the San Diego and Imperial Valley helped to generate the record-setting amount of green energy for our customers,” said Scott Drury, chief energy supply officer for SDG&E. “We are proud to have delivered 33 percent renewable power over the last twelve months—the first utility in California to do so.”

The 1,042 megawatts  figure does not include the energy produced by the utility’s 61,000 rooftop-solar customers.

The California Independent System Operator reported a statewide record for renewable generation of 6,341 megawatts — more than five times the capacity of the decommissioned San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station — about an hour later at 1:42 p.m. on the same day last week.

SDG&E serves 3.4 million consumers in San Diego and southern Orange counties.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.