Top 16 U.S. Cities For Solar Power

The solar power industry is in the middle of a spectacular growth spurt in the United States, especially in densely populated areas.

Last year, 20 cities – representing only about 0.1% of U.S. land area – accounted for a stunning 6.5% of U.S. solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity, according to a recent report byEnvironment America, a Boston-based non-profit focused on energy and environmental policy issues.

The report, called Shining Cities, ranked the 65 largest U.S. cities based on the totalamount of solar PV capacity installed within the geographic limits of each city. About 1.3 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV capacity has been installed in the 65 largest U.S. cities cumulatively, according to the report.

Rooftop-PV-in-HI

In 2014, the United States had installed about 20,000 megawatts (MW) of cumulative solar PV capacity, enough to power four million average U.S. homes. To put this in perspective, in 2000, only about 170 MW of solar PV capacity had been installed nationwide.

The accelerated deployment of solar PV in recent years has been driven by improvements in technology, price reductions and the development of creative business models that have spurred investment in residential solar systems. Los Angeles boasts the largest total amount of installed solar PV capacity, followed by San Diego and Phoenix.

Contrary to what you may suspect, some of the most rapid rates of solar installation have been seen in cities not especially known for their sunshine.

Take Indianapolis, which took the second spot on the list of U.S. cities with the greatest amount of solar PV capacity installed per capita .

Of course, cities with a lot of sunshine have seen solar steep solar growth rates too. Honolulu took the top spot on the list of solar PV capacity installed per capita, boasting more than twice as much solar PV installed per capita as the runner-up, Indianapolis.

San Jose, San Diego and Wilmington, Delaware claimed the remaining three spots on the list of U.S. cities with the most solar PV capacity installed per capita.

Solar-on-Fire

As impressive as recent growth rates may seem, future growth rates are likely to be even steeper.

“Solar electricity generation is one of very few low-carbon energy technologies with the potential to grow to very large scale,” according to a study on the future of solar energy by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “As a consequence, massive expansion of global solar generating capacity to multi-terawatt scale is very likely an essential component of a workable strategy to mitigate climate change risk.”

To calculate the total solar PV capacity installed for both rooftop and utility-scale solar facilities within each city, Environment America consolidated data from a variety of data sources, including data gathered by investor-owned utilities, city and state government agencies, operators of regional electric grids and non-profit organizations.

 I’ve included below a list of the 16 U.S. cities with the most solar PV installed per capita.
  1. Honolulu, Hawaii

Per Capita Rank: 1

Solar PV Capacity Installed Per Capita: 276 Watts-DC/Person

Total Solar Capacity Rank: 6

Total Solar PV Capacity Installed: 96 M

2. Indianapolis, Indiana

Per Capita Rank: 2

 Solar PV Capacity Installed Per Capita: 127 Watts-DC/Person

Total Solar Capacity Rank: 4

Total Solar PV Capacity Installed: 107 MW

3. San Jose, California

Per Capita Rank: 3

Solar PV Capacity Installed Per Capita: 110 Watts-DC/Person

Total Solar Capacity Rank: 5

Total Solar PV Capacity Installed: 105 MW

 4. San Diego, California

Per Capita Rank: 4

Solar PV Capacity Installed Per Capita: 110 Watts-DC/Person

Total Solar Capacity Rank: 2

Total Solar PV Capacity Installed: 149 MW

5. Wilmington, Delaware

Per Capita Rank: 5

Solar PV Capacity Installed Per Capita: 101 Watts-DC/Person

 Total Solar Capacity Rank: 28

Total Solar PV Capacity Installed: 7 MW

6. New Orleans, Louisiana

Per Capita Rank: 6

Solar PV Capacity Installed Per Capita: 94 Watts-DC/Person

Total Solar Capacity Rank: 10

Total Solar PV Capacity Installed: 36 MW

7. Denver, Colorado

 Per Capita Rank: 7

Solar PV Capacity Installed Per Capita: 89  Watts-DC/Person

Total Solar PV Capacity Installed: 58 MW

Total Solar Capacity Rank: 8

8. Newark, New Jersey

Per Capita Rank: 8

Solar PV Capacity Installed Per Capita: 78 Watts-DC/Person

Total Solar Capacity Rank: 16

 Total Solar PV Capacity Installed: 22 MW

9. Phoenix, Arizona

Per Capita Rank: 9

Solar PV Capacity Installed Per Capita: 76 Watts-DC/Person

Total Solar Capacity Rank: 3

Total Solar PV Capacity Installed: 115 MW

10. San Antonio, Texas

Per Capita Rank: 10

Solar PV Capacity Installed Per Capita: 63 Watts-DC/Person

 Total Solar Capacity Rank: 7

Total Solar PV Capacity Installed: 88 MW

11. Raleigh, North Carolina

Per Capita Rank: 11

Solar PV Capacity Installed Per Capita: 62 Watts-DC/Person

Total Solar Capacity Rank: 13

Total Solar PV Capacity Installed: 27 MW

12. Sacramento, California

 Per Capita Rank: 12

Solar PV Capacity Installed Per Capita: 53 Watts-DC/Person

Total Solar Capacity Rank: 14

Total Solar PV Capacity Installed: 25 MW

13. Salt Lake City, Utah

Per Capita Rank: 13

Solar PV Capacity Installed Per Capita: 50 Watts-DC/Person

Total Solar PV Capacity Installed: 24 MW

 Total Solar Capacity Rank: 10

14. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Per Capita Rank: 14

Solar PV Capacity Installed Per Capita: 50 Watts-DC/Person

Total Solar PV Capacity Installed: 28 MW

Total Solar Capacity Rank: 12

15. Los Angeles, California

Per Capita Rank: 15

 Solar PV Capacity Installed Per Capita: 15 Watts-DC/Person

Total Solar PV Capacity Installed: 170 MW

Total Solar Capacity Rank: 1

16. Las Vegas, Nevada

Per Capita Rank: 16

Solar PV Capacity Installed Per Capita: 16 Watts-DC/Person

Total Solar PV Capacity Installed: 24 MW

Total Solar Capacity Rank: 15

Source :- http://www.forbes.com/

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