U.S. Cities With the Most Solar Energy Potential

Solar energy has become increasingly popular in recent years. Many people are looking for alternatives to traditional energy sources, and solar power is an affordable and easily implemented alternative. The growth of solar power in the U.S. has been astronomical over the past decade, and costs have gone down substantially: The cost of solar panels has decreased by 50% since 2014. Today, there are enough solar installations in the United States to power 12 million average homes.

We analyzed solar energy data to determine which American cities have the most solar energy potential per capita.

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U.S. Cities With the Most Solar Energy Potential - Solar Power Guide - Infographic

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Where Are the Best Places for Solar in the U.S.?

To reach our findings, we looked up solar energy statistics for the 250 most populous cities in America using Google’s Project Sunroof, which uses Google Maps to analyze how much potential solar energy cities would be able to produce given the location, typical weather, and viable roof space. We then calculated how many megawatt-hours per year they could potentially produce per person.

These are the cities that have the most solar energy potential based on solar energy production potential in megawatt-hours per year per capita:

  1. Scottsdale, AZ: 13.562
  2. Springfield, MO: 13.104
  3. Baton Rouge, LA: 12.260
  4. Abilene, TX: 11.343
  5. Cape Coral, FL: 11.311
  6. Albuquerque, NM: 11.240
  7. Visalia, CA: 11.144
  8. Beaumont, TX: 11.128
  9. Lafayette, LA: 11.095
  10. Oklahoma City, OK: 10.991
  11. Lubbock, TX: 10.817
  12. Peoria, AZ: 10.798
  13. Surprise, AZ: 10.588
  14. Birmingham, AL: 10.506
  15. Huntsville, AL: 10.470
  16. Chattanooga, TN: 10.394
  17. Chandler, AZ: 10.338
  18. Thousand Oaks, CA: 10.251
  19. Tempe, AZ: 10.214
  20. Mobile, AL: 10.068
  21. Waco, TX: 10.055
  22. Amarillo, TX: 10.032
  23. Gilbert, AZ: 9.838
  24. Reno, NV: 9.781
  25. McAllen, TX: 9.772

Not surprisingly, cities with warm, sunny climates rank highly on the list. Scottsdale, AZ, averages more than 330 sunny days per year, making it perfect for solar panels. Cities in Texas, California, and Florida also appear multiple times on the list.

Cities Taking Advantage of Solar Energy

While the graphic above outlines which cities have the most solar energy potential, there are many cities that are currently using solar energy to power homes and businesses. Where is solar energy most commonly used in the United States?

The following are the ten cities with the most solar photovoltaic capacity installed per capita:

  1. Honolulu, HI
  2. San Diego, CA
  3. Albuquerque, NM
  4. San Jose, CA
  5. Burlington, VT
  6. San Antonio, TX
  7. Las Vegas, NV
  8. Phoenix, AZ
  9. Riverside, CA
  10. Denver, CO

Honolulu is the top city powered by solar energy in the United States. The city has 840.88 watts of solar photovoltaic capacity per capita and a total of 292.12 megawatts installed. Just behind Honolulu in second place is San Diego, with 294.8 watts per capita and a total of 420.38 megawatts installed. It’s heartening to see that the number of cities that use solar power is increasing more and more every year!

Written and designed by Joe Robertson