Solar power in California – Quick facts

At the end of 2022, California had more than 1.5 million solar panel systems installed statewide.

In 2020, California adopted a Solar Mandate that requires all newly built homes to install photovoltaic power systems.

Per capita, Fresno has the most installed solar capacity in California, with Bakersfield ranked second.

Solar generates about 20% of California’s power, according to the 2022 report by the nonprofit California ISO.

At the end of 2022, California has more than 37 gigawatts of installed solar power capacity, and is the nation’s leader, followed by the state of Texas.

Topaz Solar Farm, a 550 megawatt photovoltaic power station in San Luis Obispo County, is the largest solar farm in California.

Los Angeles is the nation’s leading city for installed solar capacity, with approximately 650 megawatts of installed solar power capacity at the end of 2021.

California, despite being nation’s leader in installed solar panels still has no plan has for safely recycling more than 1 million photovoltaic panels that will soon come to end of their lifespan.

As of December 2022, the average solar panel cost in California is $2.83/W. Given a solar panel system size of 5 kilowatts (kW), an average solar installation in California ranges in cost from $12,028 to $16,272, with the average gross price for solar in California coming in at $14,150. 

In 2022, California does not have a free solar installation program. No US state currently has such a program.

In 2018, California created a mandate that new single-family homes and multi-family dwellings up to three stories high must install solar panels.

The state of California doesn’t set limits on the maximum size solar system you can install. However, installing a system of over 15 kilowatts will lead to higher permitting fees.