Solar Power in California

Solar power in California has been growing rapidly because of high insolation, community support, and a Renewable Portfolio Standard which requires that 20% of California's electricity come from renewable resources by 2010, and 33% by 2020. Much of this is expected to come from solar power. As of the end of 2011, California had 364 MW of concentrated solar power and 1,564 MW of photovoltaics.

The largest solar power installation in the world is the 354 MW solar thermal SEGS plant, completed in 1991. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (392 MW), located 40 miles (60 km) southwest of Las Vegas, is the world's largest solar thermal power project currently under construction.

California leads the nation in the total number of homes which have solar panels installed. Many were installed because of the million solar roof initiative. In 2008, the state decided that it was not moving forward fast enough on photovoltaic generation and enacted a feed-in tariff. A feed-in tariff is both the least expensive and the most effective means of increasing solar usage. It is similar to a power purchase agreement, but at a much higher rate. As the industry matures, the tariff is reduced to the retail rate and becomes the same as a power purchase agreement. A feed-in tariff allows investors a guaranteed return on investment - a requirement for development.

Read more about Solar Power In CaliforniaSolar Thermal Power, Photovoltaics, Public Opinion, Renewable Portfolio Standard, Net Metering, Alameda County, Los Angeles County, New Homes, See Also

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