Walter Mencken 11:31 a.m., Feb. 1
A gigawatt of solar generation
State passes milestone in solar installations
California’s solar power network now tops 1 gigawatt in generation, the *San Francisco Chronicle is reporting.
A single gigawatt is equal to 1,000 megawatts, roughly equivalent to the power production of one of the two idled nuclear reactors at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in northern San Diego Coutny.
The state credits the 2007 California Solar Initiative in spurring the installation of solar power arrays, as the program offers rebates to consumers adopting residential solar systems.
Although the amount of rebates available has fallen 92 percent since the program’s implementation, the number of applications for participation in the program has risen each year since it was instituted. The state says it anticipates California will easily meet or exceed its goal of 1,940 megawatts of solar power generation by the end of 2016.
“It's one of the few examples of a program where, if anything, we're hitting the goals sooner than anticipated,” Edward Randolph, director of the energy division at the California Public Utilities Commission, tells the Chronicle. “The costs are going down as we hoped, and the market is heading closer to self-sufficiency.”
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