There is little doubt that California is by far the national leader in solar, with more capacity installed than any other state, but the numbers often cited as record-breaking fall far short of detailing the full story about how far in front of the rest of the country the state is. Pundits often cite data from the California Independent System Operator such as the July press release about the state surpassing the 8-gigawatt threshold of installed capacity, almost 2 GW more than the previous summer. Such data only track utility-scale projects but exclude the roughly half-million rooftop panels installed on homes and businesses or solar projects connected through municipal utilities such as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power or the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. All told, the total solar in use when California topped its July record was more likely in the range of 11 GW, not 8 GW.
Subscribe by email
Sign up for our weekly email updates: