California is the nation’s leading producer of solar energy, with nearly 25% of the state’s electricity harnessed from the sun. And with strong community support, declining solar costs, and state mandates to increase the use of renewable energy, its solar production is projected to continue growing rapidly for the foreseeable future.
It’s worth learning more about California’s relationship with solar energy, given the influence this renewable energy source has had on the state. Here’s some information about solar power in California you should be aware of.
California Has a Long History with Solar
The California solar industry has been active since the 1970s, though it was first popular with people who lived off-grid. By 1979, however, solar became more mainstream when the world’s biggest solar power facility at the time was built in Camarillo by ARCO Solar.
More California solar power projects and initiatives followed. For instance, there was the US Department of Energy’s Solar One Project in the Mojave in 1981. Then, in 1982, Sacramento commissioned its first solar power facility.
It wasn’t until 1996 that the state enacted net-metering laws that made solar energy more accessible to the public. The California Solar Initiative in 2007 provided solar rebates to make solar power more appealing until going solar in the state became cheaper.
Solar support has continued to grow in recent years throughout California, with local programs such as the Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program allowing low-income households to finance solar.
Other Interesting Facts about the California Solar Industry
We mentioned California’s solar mandate earlier, but how much do you know about it?
California Requires New Homes to Go Solar
California passed a law in 2018 requiring all newly constructed homes to include a solar energy system. Solar energy should be sufficient to meet the home’s annual energy demand, reducing the household’s reliance on local grid resources. This mandate became effective in 2020.
Businesses Have to Go Solar Soon Too
It’s not just homeowners who have to go solar. By 2023, commercial buildings will also be required to install solar panel systems. These include retail stores, offices, hotels, and schools. High-rise residential buildings will have to comply, too, unlike in 2018 when the rule only extended to single-family and multi-family homes up to three stories high.
California’s Has a Sizable Lead in Solar Energy Production
We’ve also mentioned at the start that California is the top solar-producing state in the US. All in all, the state has a capacity of 32,394 megawatts. This is enough to power over eight million homes. But if you added the solar capacities of the rest of the Top 5 solar producing states—Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona—you’d find that they’d only amount to 32,084 MW.
Discover Solar Power’s Benefits with Current Home
There are plenty of benefits to going solar here in California, and the team here in Current Home wants to help your household enjoy them, too. That’s why we offer solar services that make the installation process seamless for you. To learn more about our solar installations, contact us or request a quote today.