A sunny, cool weekend in spring is prime solar-power-percentage time: Total usage is relatively low and solar panels are more efficient when it’s cool.

Still, it startled me to learn that for several hours of Saturday, April 2, in the six states of New England, the single largest fuel for producing electricity was photons falling on people’s roofs. Behind-the-meter photovoltaic power was estimated at slightly over 3,600 megawatts from 11 a.m. through 3 p.m. – eight times more than utility-scale (front-of-meter) solar and about 300 megawatts more than runner-up nuclear power. Natural gas was in third place.

Considering that New England isn’t exactly California when it comes to distributed energy, that’s impressive.

The difference was first noticed by Joe LaRusso, energy efficiency manager for the city of Boston, on his excellent Twitter feed.

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