With true American ambition, more U.S. cities are harnessing the power of the sun than ever before, resulting in the production of enough energy to power 5.4 million homes. In April 2016, Environment America Research & Policy Center released a report detailing which American cities have successfully embraced solar power on a large scale.
If you assumed that forward-thinking cities like Washington DC, New York City and Los Angeles made the list, you’re correct. But what about the rest? Here are four of the top cities for solar you might not have guessed.
Deep in the heart of Texas is a city that holds a rich history of famous Spanish missions and a fondness for margaritas, San Antonio. At 75 watts of power per person, it reaches the 10th spot of Top Solar Cities Per Capita. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates that San Antonio is only scratching the surface of their solar power potential, and their use of solar technology will lead to hundreds of times more energy in the future.
Ranking second in Solar PV Capacity Per Capita in the Northeast with 65 watts/person is Burlington, Vermont. Holding the largest population in Vermont at 42.000 people, this cultural center sits between Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains. In 2014, Burlington became the first sizeable U.S. city to run completely on renewable electricity. Other cities should take note of Burlington’s affinity for forward thinking. After all, this is where a good idea like Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream business was founded.
Known for its sporting events and “Hooiser hospitality,” Indianapolis, Indiana ranks number two in the U.S. for Top Solar Cities Per Capita at 146 watts per person. This capital city’s love for solar can be seen when touching down for a landing at the Indianapolis International Airport where 76,000 PV solar panels generate power. In 2014, it was dubbed the largest airport solar farm in the nation.
Let’s not forget our neighbors out at sea. Honolulu, Hawaii takes the number one spot in solar power in the Pacific region with 417 watts of solar PV per person. In 2015, it was reported that an impressive 12% of homes in Honolulu were equipped with solar systems. The Solar Energy Industries Association expects 3.3 million homes to pull in power from Hawaii’s beautiful sunny skies by 2020.
A Growing List
Thanks to accessible technology and solar power becoming cheaper than fossil fuel generated electricity, solar energy use in United States cities will continue to soar. Local governments embracing change and offering incentives to its residents will lead to more and more Americans to strive to harness the sun and adopt the use of solar power.
By Kelli McDonald
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