LOS ANGELES – The city of Los Angeles ranked no. 1 for solar energy capacity in the latest edition of the Environment California Research and Policy Center’s report Shining Cities: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy.
The report designates Los Angeles a “Solar Superstar,” meaning it boasts 100 or more watts of solar PV capacity installed per capita. Los Angeles is home to 649.9 megawatts of solar capacity total, which comes out to 166.7 watts per person. San Diego has the next highest rooftop solar capacity with 468 megawatts.
“The City of Angels has once again earned the title of the United States’ top Solar Superstar,” said Laura Deehan, state director with Environment California Research & Policy Center. “As Earth Day approaches, I’m struck by how far we’ve come toward tapping the sun’s immense power since this environmental holiday first began back in 1970. L.A.’s leadership on solar to date means a cleaner environment, healthier community and more resilient future.”
“Los Angeles is the solar capital of the United States. We know that our leadership on renewable energy is a down payment on the health and well-being of generations of local families, workers and communities,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We’re thrilled to lead the country in solar power for eight of the last nine years, and thanks to the investments we’ve made, we’re ready to keep showing the world what a green and just transition to renewable energy looks like.”
"Solar energy is a key component of LADWP's renewable energy goals," said Martin Adams, LADWP general manager and chief engineer of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). "The national recognition of our city as the #1 solar city in America in solar rooftop capacity speaks to the department's efforts to continually improve and streamline our programs to make it easier for Angelenos to go solar. We applaud the diverse and vibrant communities we serve for embracing and participating in our solar programs; they're powering our progress toward a more sustainable future."
Beyond the findings in California, this edition of the survey tracked data through December 2021, finding that the United States now has 121.4 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity installed. That’s enough solar energy to power more than 23 million homes. Additionally, the report found that 15 major U.S. cities recorded a tenfold increase in their solar capacity between 2014 and 2022.
Honolulu had the most rooftop solar per capita nationwide. Central Valley cities Fresno and Bakersfield had the first and second most rooftop solar per capita in the state, respectively.
“These numbers tell the story of progress driven by pro-solar policies, many of which are outlined in the report. California has over a million solar roofs thanks to pro-solar policies like net energy metering and incentive programs,” said Deehan. “Sadly, these programs are under threat as the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) is still debating the future of our state’s crucial rooftop solar incentive programs.”
Earlier this year, the CPUC shelved a controversial policy that critics said constituted a “solar tax.” The proposed policy change would have charged high monthly fees only on solar customers and slashed net metering credits by 80%.
“California cities are leading the way on rooftop solar deployment. But it's up to Gov. Newsom and the state’s utility commission to make sure rooftop solar capacity grows at an even faster pace in coming years with a strong rooftop solar incentive program so that we can get to our clean energy goals as quickly as possible,” said Deehan.
Environment California Research & Policy Center works for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the state put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy.