Mike Madriaga 2:12 p.m., June 24
California sixth-largest producer of solar power per capita
California is the sixth-biggest solar market in the country as measured per capita, according to a new report detailing lessons learned from the top 12 solar-producing states in the country.
Last year, local solar capacity grew by 35 percent to over 2,900 megawatts, while actual production of over 1,000 megawatts was achieved for the first time. For comparison, maximum capacity at the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was just over 2,000 megawatts with both reactors operating under full load.
“Our state can continue to be an example for innovation in the energy sphere if we commit ourselves to incentivizing sustainability,” offered local House Representative Scott Peters on the report.
“California's leadership in promoting renewable energy sources must continue,” adds State Senator Marty Block. “Our shared vision for protecting the environment and developing future technologies is essential to the next generation's quality of life, our state's economy, and setting the trend for the nation's approach to energy security policy.”
There has, however, been considerable pushback by major utilities including San Diego Gas & Electric against individual rooftop solar installations, which sap profits as more consumers buy in to renewable energy. One major point of contention has been net metering rates, which determines what utilities pay to purchase excess power from individual consumers versus what they sell it back for later.
The states with the most installed solar capacity per resident were Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, New Jersey, and New Mexico. Following California to round out the top 10 were Delaware, Colorado, Vermont, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Maryland.