New study: Portland ranks among nation’s solar leaders

Portland leads as solar capacity continues to grow nationwide
For Immediate Release

PORTLAND - Portland ranked 21st for solar energy capacity among the nation’s leaders. The results come from the seventh edition of Shining Cities: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy, a new report released today by Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center. It is the most comprehensive survey available of installed solar capacity in major U.S. cities.

“Rip City has finally earned the title ‘Solar Star’,” said Celeste Meiffren-Swango, State Director with Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center. “Portland’s leadership on solar has not only provided residents with clean, renewable power, but has also given other cities an excellent example on how to make it happen. Despite the current slowdown in solar development due to COVID-19, the remarkable progress of the past year is worth highlighting.”

Beyond the findings in Oregon, the report examined national solar power in major cities over the past seven years. The analysis found that of the 57 cities surveyed in all seven editions of this report, almost 90 percent more than doubled their total installed solar PV capacity between 2013 and 2019.

Overall, this year’s Shining Cities survey ranked 70 of America’s major cities by solar energy capacity. Honolulu placed first overall for solar energy capacity per capita, while Los Angeles finished No. 1  in total solar energy capacity installed. Leaders in per capita solar capacity region were: Honolulu in the Pacific region; Las Vegas in the Mountain region; Indianapolis in the North Central region; San Antonio in the South Central region; Jacksonville, Fla., in the South Atlantic region; and Burlington, Vt., in the Northeast region.

These numbers show tremendous progress, but the continued implementation of key policies, like those outlined in Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center’s Renewables on the Rise report will be critical to keep clean energy growing.

“With the continued growth in solar at risk in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, we must make smart policy choices in this space," said Meiffren-Swango. "That means taking steps to build the future we need, by investing in infrastructure that advances a future powered entirely by renewable energy sources."

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Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center is dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help the public make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives. https://environmentoregoncenter.org/