California is the most populous state in the United States, and the second largest in land area. The lowest point of dry land and the higesst mountain peak in the Lower Fourty-Eight states are both in California.
California contains a broad range of climates, from desert to sub-arctic. The Mojave Desert has been the site of the largest solar power installations in the world since the mid-1980s -- the The SEGS (Solar Electricity Generating Systems) thermal plants.
Although the deserts of Southern California contain some of the sunniest regions of the Unitied States, the urban areas to the west are nearly as sunny. The average insolation of most of the Los Angeles basin is about 90 percent that of the Mojave desert. Those urban areas contain vast expanses of rooftop space -- space that could be put to work harvesting solar energy without producing any impact on the state's wild areas.