California has the largest solar market in the U.S. and has been a longtime champion of solar because of the many economic and environmental benefits it provides, including $42 billion in investment in the state. Solar supplies nearly 16 percent of California’s electricity today, but it must play a bigger role if the state is to reach climate and energy goals. Despite successes and new policies, such as the residential requirement established by the California Energy Commission (CEC), there is still a lot of work to do to achieve California’s broader goals.
Want to get involved in political advocacy in California? Click here to learn more about SEIA's California Solar PAC.
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SEIA California State Solar Policy Priorities
Secure solar-friendly and solar-plus-storage-friendly rate designs by establishing workable time of use rates and avoiding fixed charges and residential demand charges.
Support policies to integrate high penetrations of solar and other distributed energy resources, such as storage, on the distribution and transmission system.
Develop a robust cost effectiveness framework to ensure solar’s benefits are fully captured in advance of the Commission’s re-evaluation of net metering in 2019.
Maximize the opportunities for solar and associated technologies, such as storage, to be integrated into utility distribution system planning and operations to create to revenue opportunities for solar, ease interconnection, and avoid unnecessary utility cost.
Ensure the Integrated Resources Planning process maximizes solar deployment, both utility scale and distributed.
Expand access to solar by establishing offsite solar opportunities and shared solar programs.
Notable Solar Installations in California
- Topaz Solar Farm was completed in 2014. This photovoltaic project has the capacity to generate 550 MW of electricity -- enough to power over 142,000 California homes.5
- Several large retailers in California have gone solar including AER Worldwide, Agilent Technologies and Airdrome Orchards. Prologis has installed one of the largest such installations with 8 MW of solar capacity at their location in Rialto.6
Check out our Major Solar Projects List for more notable installations.
Solar Companies in California
Looking for a local installer? Use the SEIA EnergySage Marketplace to compare quotes and find companies in your area. You can also review the average costs for installing solar in California, based on real price data from solar quotes.
Don't see your company listed? Complete our National Solar Database Survey!
California State Solar Policy Resources
California Public Utilities Commission – Learn about the governing body that regulates the electricity rates and services of California public utilities
California Solar Initiative – Read information on the solar rebate program for customers of California's investor-owned utilities
California State Energy Commission – Find a wide variety of information on state government energy programs, policy, projects, energy-saving strategies and energy-related statistics
California State Legislature – Track pending legislation affecting solar energy, locate and contact individual legislators, and stay up to date on current legislative issues in California
DSIRE Incentives Database - California – Search a public clearinghouse for specific solar energy incentives in California and across the United States
U.S. Energy Information Administration - California State Profile – Explore official energy statistics, including data on electricity supply and demand, from the U.S. government
1All data from SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight unless otherwise noted: http://www.seia.org/research-resources/us-solar-market-insight
2Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly: http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/#generation
3The Solar Foundation, State Solar Jobs Census: http://www.thesolarfoundation.org/solar-jobs-census/states/
4SEIA, National Solar Database: http://www.seia.org/research-resources/national-solar-database
5SEIA, Major Solar Projects List: http://www.seia.org/research-resources/major-solar-projects-list