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Richard230
09 November 2011, 1545
According to an article by Dana Hull in my newspaper's business section, with the catchy title of "State becoming the 'Saudi Arabia of the sun' ", California has hit a major renewal energy milestone of 1 gigawatts produced by solar power. The state of California is now producing more solar power than France, China and Belgium and only Germany, Spain, Japan, Italy and the Czech Republic (?) produce more power from the sun than California. This is according to a report released today by Environment California, a statewide advocacy group. According to Michael Peevey, president of the California PUC "of the total 1,000 megawatts of rooftop solar installed statewide, a record 205 MW was installed in 2011 alone". Much of the solar growth has been fueled by the California Solar Initiative, which provided $3 billion in incentives for solar energy projects.

electriKAT
09 November 2011, 1607
Wait until they reach 1.21 GW :O

billmi
09 November 2011, 1744
I wanted to get an idea of scale... 1GW is impressive, but how does it compare to other power sources.

It seems all the solar power generation in California adds up to about half the capacity of this one coal plant in the UK - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratcliffe-on-Soar_Power_Station

It's about 25% more power than the Three Mile Island plant puts out.

It's about 1/22 of the power the Three Gorges Dam is expected to produce when it's finished.

Sounds like it's an important milestone, but little more than a very first step.

Richard230
09 November 2011, 1836
The article claims that "1 GW is roughly the size of two coal-fired power plants and is enough energy to power 750,000 homes".

Richard230
10 November 2011, 1536
No one ever said that government agencies in California couldn't figure out how to tax just about anything. My newspaper reports that the county of Riverside has approved a "fee" on new solar-energy plants that could bring in millions of dollars to their coffers. The county supervisors voted Tuesday to approve an annual "land-use fee" of $450 per acre for the land used by a solar power plant. However, the fee can be reduced to $225 per acre through incentives for hiring local workers. (Sort of sounds like blackmail to me.)

Solar-industry groups and construction workers were strongly opposed to the fee, arguing that it would drive their business out of the county. But supporters of the fee (such as?) said that the county's sweeping open spaces and proximity to electrical transmission likes and power markets make it too important a market to neglect. Twenty solar projects, covering 118,000 acres are currently planned in the county.

Allen_okc
11 November 2011, 0639
i hate to say it Richard - but the government would tax the air we breath if they could... but $225 or $450 sounds pretty steep of a land tax use to me...

Allen_okc
11 November 2011, 0642
im sure in oklahoma it would be more like $50 dollars... california always has tried to screw itself to death on everything, and thats coming from a native california would never step across the border of that state ever again... the people who live there are wonderful people but your government is as corrupt and greedy as they come...

chef
11 November 2011, 1940
i hate to say it Richard - but the government would tax the air we breath if they could... but $225 or $450 sounds pretty steep of a land tax use to me...
Once the air is dirty enough they will ;) The new fad - bottled air.

Thanks for the posting this Richard. 1GW is just the beginning but an important milestone. Hopefully the trend will continue at an even faster rate. The Evergreen 78c/W panel closeout will give a nice short term bump for solar.

Rhino
11 November 2011, 2037
Once the air is dirty enough they will The new fad - bottled air. Have you heard of Oxygen Bars?