Skip to main content

California Solar

Data Current Through:
Q2 2019
Solar Installed (MW):
National Ranking:
1st (1st in 2018)
Enough Solar Installed to Power:
6,709,327 homes
Percentage of State's Electricity from Solar:
Solar Jobs:
Solar Companies in State:
2767 (477 Manufacturers, 1310 Installers/Developers, 980 Others)
Total Solar Investment in State:
$62,359.94 million
Prices have fallen
32% over the last 5 years.
Growth Projection and Ranking:
15,132 MW over the next 5 years (ranks 1st)
Number Of Installations:

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 $57 billion in investment in the state. Solar supplies nearly 19 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.




View more solar industry data.

California Solar Market Ranking Facts

SEIA California State Solar Policy Priorities 

  • Setting a long-term goal for renewable production, including successful implementation of SB100 through the IRP process, lobbying for legislation to accelerate procurement of utility-scale renewables, and securing full capacity value for solar in resource adequacy
  • Protecting solar markets in rate cases and rate design, including protecting net metering through reasonable NEM 2.0 reforms, engagement in SDG&E general rate case Phase 2 (focusing on rates for residential and commercial customers with a particular emphasis on solar + storage rates), and residential time-of-use cases (coordinating with ratepayer advocates to fight increased fix charges for residential customers)
  • Modernizing the grid to create a level playing field for solar, including creating a solar bill of rights, establishing a pilot tariff in NEM 3.0 for shared solar programs, and establishing a diversity & inclusion working group
  • Incorporating solar into state codes & standards, including implementation of the Building Energy Efficiency Standards (BEES) for solar on new homes, developing BEES for commercial buildings with solar and storage, and preventing problematic siting & permitting requirements for utility-scale solar
  • Establishing reasonable consumer protections for solar customers, including developing a consumer information packet at the PUC and resolving outstanding consumer complaints in the Central Valley and elsewhere
  • Develop a California Clean Energy Caucus in coordination with other partner trade associations
Recent Policy Highlights
  • Submitted comments in the IRP supporting a proposed procurement track to be established for summer 2019
  • Engaging on AB 56, a bill that would establish a procurement entity, as well as other related legislation
  • In direct talks with the Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) about how to improve the procurement process and to  collaborate more closely on market reform matters
  • Intervened in PG&E’s GRC Phase 1 and is preparing testimony on PG&E’s proposed grid modernization plan and proposed NBCs related to hydro assets

For more information on SEIA's work in California, please contact Rick Umoff

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 SolarReviews to get company reviews and estimates for solar in your area. You can also view the average costs for installing solar in California, based on real price data from installed systems and solar quotes.

Don't see your company listed? Complete our National Solar Database Survey!

California State Solar Policy Resources

Official SEIA State Affiliate - California Solar and Storage Association (CalSSA)

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