California celebrates 1 million solar rooftops
- Former Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown and other local elected officials joined local high school students, industry leaders and employees, renewable energy advocates, and community leaders marked reaching one million solar roofs around California during a party in Buchanan High School in Clovis.
In 2006, then-Governor Schwarzenegger signed the Million Solar Roofs Initiative into legislation, which established a goal of constructing one million solar energy systems on homes, farms, schools, and businesses across the state. In 2019, the concept that formerly made international headlines for its ""wow factor"" is now a reality.
A new report, published by the California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA), provided a deeper look in the state's solar success story. The report demonstrated considerable growth in unexpected places like the Central Valley where many cities which rank in the top tenth-percentile of California cities by the amount of solar roofs are substantially outperforming their per-capita population rankings. Cities in the Sacramento and San Diego areas were also disproportionately powerful markets for solar energy.
The advantages of the Million Solar Roofs Initiative surpassed expectations. The initiative's aim was to construct 3 gigawatts of rooftop solar throughout the state. The program met its target in 2015, ahead of schedule, and the marketplace has continued to rise. Nowadays, California consumers have installed almost 9 gigawatts of local solar power, three-fold the first goal, because of the successful transformation caused by the Million Solar Roofs Initiative started in 2006 with Senate Bill 1, authored by former state senator Kevin Murray (D-Culver City). Those 9 gigawatts of solar energy - the size equivalent of six large all-natural gas power plants - create over 13 billion kilowatt-hours of clean power annually preventing 22 million tons of CO2, 16,000 tons of smog-forming pollutants, over 350 billion cubic feet of natural gas and bypassing costly and aging utility infrastructure.