California passes 1 GW of rooftop solar
California has long been a leader in solar power, in large part because of its clear, sunny skies. Now a new report from Environment California reports that the state has reached a remarkable threshold, passing 1 gigawatt of installed rooftop solar capacity.
California has seen substantial growth in its utility-scale solar market, particularly in the last two years, but the state has also made a point of pursuing distributed generation through rooftop solar installations.
Environment California credits the Million Solar Roofs Initiative along with the California Solar Initiative solar incentive program for much of the progress that has been made in this regard. Roughly 600 megawatts of solar capacity came through the CSI.
"This report really shows that investing in these solar programs works," Michelle Kinman, a clean-energy advocate at Environment California and one of the report's authors, told The San Francisco Chronicle. "It's not only the fact that we're on pace to achieve the 3,000 megawatts. There's also the benefits of the creation of green jobs and the strengthening of the solar industry in the state, not to mention the benefits of clean energy and clean air."
The Solar Energy Industries Association reports that California added nearly 260 megawatts of solar capacity in 2010, with the vast majority coming from non-utility solar installations.