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Golden state cements place as America’s solar leader
California has cemented its place as America’s solar leader, according to the recently-released U.S. Solar Market Insight 2014 Year in Review, and stands poised to become the first state in the nation to have 10 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar capacity – enough to power nearly 2.5 million homes.
“When it comes to creating clean energy jobs and protecting the environment, California is leading by example,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “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. We congratulate Gov. Brown, his administration, legislative leaders and the people of California for being the ‘little engine that could’ and demonstrating to America the viability, as well as the reliability, of clean, affordable solar energy.”
California’s notable 2014 projects include:
Desert Sunlight, which was recently completed by developer First Solar. This photovoltaic (PV) project has the capacity to generate 550 MW of electricity – enough to power more than 160,000 California homes.
At 250 MW, Mojave Solar is also among the largest solar installations in California. Completed in 2014 by Abengoa Solar, this concentrating solar power (CSP) project has enough electric capacity to power more than 61,000 homes.
Many large retailers in California also installed solar installations last year, including Walgreens, Johnson & Johnson, Walmart and IKEA.
Campbell’s Soup installed one of the largest corporate PV systems in the state with 2,300 kilowatts (kW) of solar capacity at their location in Sacramento.
From an environmental perspective, solar installations in California are helping to offset more than 11.7 million metric tons of harmful carbon emissions, which is the equivalent of removing 2.5 million cars off state roads and highways.
“Today, the U.S. solar industry employs 174,000 Americans nationwide – more than tech giants Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter combined – and pumps nearly $18 billion a year into our economy,” Resch added. “This remarkable growth is due, in large part, to smart and effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). By any measurement, these policies are paying huge dividends for both the economy and environment.”
Celebrating its 41st anniversary in 2015, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.