Top 10 Solar Cities in the U.S. 2019

Kaitlin LindrosAugust 5, 2019 2106 0

With over 60 gigawatts of solar capacity installed in the US - enough to power one out of every 11 homes - it’s clear that solar is here to stay. In just six years, solar has grown to the point where the amount of solar power in just 20 US cities exceeds the amount installed in the entire US in 2010.

A new report from Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group shows the drastic changes in the top cities throughout the US over the years.

Out of 57 cities in the study, 79% of them more than doubled their total installed solar capacity from 2013 to 2018, and 1/3 of them more than quadrupled it.

That is quite the shining accomplishment!

The Top 10 Solar Cities In the U.S. 2019

While cities across the country are making strides towards solar, there are some cities that stand out as leaders in the industry.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at which cities are topping the charts for solar installed per person in 2019.

1. Honolulu, Hawaii

Solar PV per Capita: 646.44 Watts
National Rank: 1

Total Solar PV Installed: 226.51 MW
National Rank: 4


2. San Diego, California

Solar PV per Capita: 247.52 Watts
National Rank: 2

Total Solar PV Installed: 351.36 MW
National Rank: 2

Small Building Rooftop Solar Potential: 2,219 MW


3. San Jose, California

Solar PV per Capita: 194.86 Watts
National Rank: 3

Total Solar PV Installed: 201.74 MW
National Rank: 5

Small Building Rooftop Solar Potential: 1,639 MW


4. Burlington, Vermont

Solar PV per Capita: 187.3 Watts
National Rank: 4

Total Solar PV Installed: 7.91 MW
National Rank: 37

Small Building Rooftop Solar Potential: 44 MW


5. Las Vegas, Nevada

Solar PV per Capita: 162.24 Watts
National Rank: 5

Total Solar PV Installed: 104.1 MW
National Rank: 9

Small Building Rooftop Solar Potential: 946 MW


6. Phoenix, Arizona

Solar PV per Capita: 145.29 Watts
National Rank: 6

Total Solar PV Installed: 236.25 MW
National Rank: 3

Small Building Rooftop Solar Potential: 2,981 MW


7. Indianapolis, Indiana

Solar PV per Capita: 143.5 Watts
National Rank: 7

Total Solar PV Installed: 123.84 MW
National Rank: 8


8. Riverside, California

Solar PV per Capita: 138.25 Watts
National Rank: 8

Total Solar PV Installed: 45.31 MW
National Rank: 16

Small Building Rooftop Solar Potential: 612 MW


9. Denver, Colorado

Solar PV per Capita: 129.64 Watts
National Rank: 9

Total Solar PV Installed: 91.35 MW
National Rank: 10

Small Building Rooftop Solar Potential: 677 MW


10. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Solar PV per Capita: 128.91 Watts
National Rank: 10

Total Solar PV Installed: 72 MW
National Rank: 11

Small Building Rooftop Solar Potential: 1,252 MW


Honorable Mentions

While these cities were not included in the Environment America study, they deserve recognition as smaller cities that are making big changes.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe had 19 MW of cumulative solar capacity installed at the end of 2018, or 225 watts per person - more than every city on the list except Honolulu and San Diego.

Tallahassee, Florida

With 30 MW total and 157 watts per person, this city truly is a Solar Star.

Trenton, New Jersey

The Community Solar Energy Pilot Program now allows residents who can’t install their own solar to purchase electricity from community solar farms, boosting this New Jersey city's ranking as a top solar leader in the US.


Solar growth isn’t stopping anytime soon - in fact, it’s just getting started.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates that small building rooftops alone could host enough solar to cover the yearly electricity needs of 121 million homes. That’s without even mentioning solar installations on large buildings or in utility-scale solar projects and farms.

It’s clear that solar is quite capable of taking the US to a 100% renewable energy future, if we adopt the right policies. Many states are already there, with goals to reach 100% clean energy by 2050 or sooner.

See how this list compares with our list of Top 10 States With 100% Renewable Energy Goals in 2019. You’ll notice that Hawaii, California, New Mexico, and Nevada match up.

Which city do you think will top next year’s list as solar capital of the US? Leave a comment below!

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