Somewhere in California, sometime in September, solar user number 800,000 started powering their home or business from the sun. Which begs the question: in 2019, who will be the one millionth solar user?
Just 15 years ago, there were only 5,000 solar users. The chart below, lifted from the state's solar website, shows how far solar has come since then.
Each line represents the cumulative number of solar installations in the state; the blue is the number installed that year. There have been at least 100,000 new installations per year since 2014; some years as high as 150,000.
As of September 30, exactly 801,759 solar projects have been installed to date in California in the areas served by the big three investor-owned utilities. The chart doesn't include areas served by public utilities such as Los Angeles Department of Water, but that data is available separately here.
Both data sets together indicate at least 888,080 solar installations across California. Wow!
At the current pace, the one millionth solar project will get installed sometime in 2019. Should we start taking bets on where it will be?