The posting that new US solar capacity could exceed new coal capacity during 2011, and would do so by 2013, was greeted with disbelief, even outrage by some. The numbers in the December 27th posting are accurate and speak for themselves, but Sempra Generation's recent energization of 42 megawatts at its Mesquite Solar 1 project breathes life into the abstractions. See www.solarbuzz.com/industry-news/sempra-generation-energizes-42-mw-solar-power.
The Mesquite Solar 1 project will be 150 megawatts that began construction in June 2011, with the first 42 megawatts now completed and generating power. The full 150 megawatt project is scheduled for completion by early 2013. About 450 workers are constructing the facility that will provide enough power for 50,000 homes.
Moreover Sempra Generation plans to build 1,000 megawatts of wind and solar generation by 2015. Sempra Generation states that the Mesquite Solar 1 project could be expanded to 700 megawatts and that it is currently constructing another 150 megawatt solar generation facility in Nevada.
If Sempra Generation were unique, its solar construction program is big enough that it would matter. But they are not unique and instead are one example among several major companies building enormous solar projects.
Current utility scale solar deployment in the Southwest of these United States is extraordinary and understandably blows the fuses in some brains.