- California is the first state to get over 5% of its annual electricity generation from utility-scale solar power, according to EIA's Electric Power Monthly. Its solar plants with 1 MW of capacity or more generated a record 9.9 million MWh of electricity in 2014, up 6.1 million MWh over 2013.
- Thanks to nearly 1,900 MW of new utility-scale solar capacity, California's 2014 utility-scale solar output was three times more than second place Arizona and more than all other states combined. The state's total installed utility-scale solar capacity was 5,400 MW at the end of 2014.
- California's solar rebates and net-metering policies had grown over 2,300 MW of additional rooftop and distributed solar by the end of 2014, according to the California Public Utilities Commission.
In addition to its stellar solar resource, California has driven solar growth with a 33% by 2020 renewables mandate which, by 2014, got the state to 22% electricity from non-hydropower renewables.
The 1,900 MW of new California utility scale capacity included the 550 MW solar photovoltaic Desert Sunlight project, the 550 MW Topaz project, the 377 MW Ivanpah concentrating solar power (CSP) project, and the 250 MW CSP Genesis project.
California, Arizona, and Nevada led the U.S. in utility-scale solar in 2014 but states with less insolation, such as New Jersey and Massachusetts, were also among the leaders. All of the top 10 states except Florida have renewables mandates and most of those include a solar carve-out.
Because California's solar production largely coincides with high demand periods, it was able to replace 83% of the 46% drop in hydroelectric generation due to the drought.
Its solar, wind, and geothermal capacities allowed California to edge out Texas as the leader in non-hydroelectric renewables-generated electricity in 2014.