Los Angeles, Honolulu top the charts of best solar cities in the U.S.

Solar panels

Lists of top solar cities include a few surprises

Solar power had a big year in the U.S. in 2015, as both individuals and businesses focused on adding renewable energy sources like solar energy to help power their homes and offices alike.

Environment Texas and the Frontier Group recently released their Shining Cities Report, which analyzed the data surrounding solar adoption in the country and listed the top solar cities in the U.S.

Los Angeles & Honolulu lead the way

According to the report, Los Angeles leads all cities in total generating power of all city solar installations with a capacity of 215 megawatts (MW). Los Angeles, however, came in 15th place when the numbers are analyzed on a per capita basis.

At the end of 2015, Los Angeles’ 215 MW of capacity calculates to about 55 watts (W) per capita. The per capita average trails fourteen other cities, including leader Honolulu, which had 146 MW of capacity at the end of 2015, or 417 W per capita.

Top 10 solar cities in the U.S. (total solar capacity)

Three different cities in California cracked the top ten list of cities ranked by total solar power capacity at the end of 2015.

  1. Los Angeles: 215 MW
  2. San Diego: 189 MW
  3. Phoenix: 147 MW
  4. Honolulu: 146 MW
  5. San Jose: 141 MW
  6. Indianapolis 124 MW
  7. San Antonio: 108 MW
  8. New York: 84 MW
  9. Albuquerque: 64 MW
  10. Las Vegas: 58 MW

Top 10 solar cities in the U.S. (solar capacity per capita)

Honolulu leads the field in solar capacity per capita — and by a wide margin. California cities are still well represented on the top ten capital list, as well.

  1. Honolulu: 417 watts per capita (W)
  2. Indianapolis: 146 W
  3. San Jose: 139 W
  4. San Diego: 136 W
  5. Albuquerque: 114 W
  6. Phoenix: 96 W
  7. Las Vegas: 94 W
  8. New Orleans: 90 W
  9. Riverside, CA: 88 W
  10. San Antonio: 75 W

West Coast lean

The rankings include a heavy leaning toward western and southwestern cities in states like California, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico, but a few outsiders snuck in with surprising good solar status.

At the end of 2015, Indianapolis had the second most installed solar capacity of any city in the U.S. — trailing only Honolulu. Honolulu’s impressive per capita number (417 W) can perhaps be seen as the high bar to be reached in coming years.

New York also had a noteworthy appearance, coming in at eighth of all U.S. cities in total solar capacity (84 MW) at the end of 2015. New York’s relatively low per capita number (10 W), however, points to the massive potential that still exists in that highly populated region.

Solar is primed for a big 2016

If 2015 is any indication, the U.S. is primed for huge solar growth here in 2016. Last year, renewable energy grew as a power source in the U.S. more than ever before, and wind and solar combined to power two thirds of all new electric capacity in the nation. And now, with major U.S. corporations teaming up to back the Clean Power Plan, solar power should continue its upward trend.

Source → Frontier Group