Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, right, who in 2005 set the statewide target of 1 million solar installations, and Dan Jacobson, director of Environment California.(Tomas Ovalle / For The Times)

Back in 2006, Arnold Schwarzenegger (then-Governor of California) signed the Million Solar Roofs Initiative into law. The main goal of the initiative was to support the installation of one million solar panel systems in California.

The panels could be installed on residential homes, schools or businesses in the state.

This Thursday, the former Governor and Jerry Brown celebrated the landmark achievement as one million homes and businesses, in the state, have gone solar.

California’s millionth solar system was a long time coming for Bernadette Del Chiaro, who lobbied the Legislature to approve Schwarzenegger’s Million Solar Roofs initiative in 2006.

“It defies all stereotypes that people tend to think about solar. Certainly, this was true in 2006,” said Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar and Storage Association.

The rooftop solar market in the United States is growing fast, with a recent report stating that California was one of 15 states to install record amounts of residential solar in the third quarter of 2019.

California now has one million solar panel systems installed throughout the state. Are one million energy storage systems next?

In 2018, the “The Million Solar Roofs of Energy Storage” bill passed in the California assembly.

The bill would result in nearly 3,000 megawatts of behind-the-meter energy storage systems at schools, farms, homes, nonprofits, and businesses in California by 2026.

Let’s look forward to the next achievement!

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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