More than 10 gigawatts of solar, 10,649 megawatts, to be precise, were operational in California as of the end of the first quarter of 2015. That’s according to figures from the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA’s) and GTM Research’s quarterly U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, which was released last week. That’s more than 10 percent of the state’s nearly 80 gigawatts of electric generation capacity.
It’s the first state to surpass 10 gigawatts of solar power and shows the significant growth the state’s solar industry has seen in the last few years. As of Sept. 25, 2014, the state only had 4 gigawatts of solar power online. The report found that in the first quarter alone California installed 718 megawatts of solar capacity. The solar capacity in the state saw such a large jump partly because First Solar’s 550 megawatt Desert Sunlight project was completed in the quarter.The report stated that California now has more solar power installed than most nations including United Kingdom, France, Spain, Australia and Belgium. “When it comes to creating clean energy jobs and protecting the environment, California is showing the world how to get the job done,” said SEIA President Rhone Resch.
“To put the state’s remarkable progress in some context, today California has 10 times more installed solar capacity than the entire nation had in 2007,” Resch said. “We congratulate Gov. Brown, his administration, legislative leaders and the people of California for being at the forefront of America’s efforts to create a vibrant and growing clean energy economy.”
Fully 399 megawatts of the solar power installed was utility-scale, 231 megawatts was residential and 88 megawatts was commercial. The report stated that the new solar installations in California represented a $1.7 billion investment in the quarter.
The report found that the price of residential solar in California dropped 4 percent on a year-over-year basis and that it has dropped 50 percent since 2010. Referring to a recent California Energy Commission, SEIA said it anticipated the growth in residential solar to continue, particularly because 27 percent of new homes in Southern California are are being built with solar as part of them.Tweet