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Michelle Kinman,
Environment California

San Diego Earns #1 Ranking Nationwide for Installed Solar Power

San Diego takes top spot from Los Angeles; 6 California cities rank in top 20
For Immediate Release

San Diego, CA – Today, Environment California Research & Policy Center was joined in front of the solar panels at Kearny High School by San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, San Diego City Councilmember Chris Cate and San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten to announce that San Diego has more installed solar power than any other major American city, according to a new report released today.

“Congratulations, San Diego! The city is setting a blazing example by investing in solar power to create clean air, local green jobs, and a brighter future for all, said Michelle Kinman, Clean Energy Advocate with Environment California Research & Policy Center. “The sky’s the limit when it comes to putting San Diego’s clean and abundant sunshine to work as long as city leaders continue to embrace forward-thinking solar polies.”

The report, Shining Cities: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America, ranks San Diego ahead of cities like Los Angeles, Honolulu and San Jose for the amount of installed solar energy. Solar power increased 60 percent in San Diego over the course of 2016, putting the city ahead of Los Angeles, which held the #1 spot for the past three years and, in comparison, experienced 24 percent growth in 2016. On a solar-per-person basis, San Diego also scored well, ranking 2nd nationwide, only behind Honolulu.

“San Diego is setting the standard for other cities across the country when it comes to protecting our environment and creating a cleaner future,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “This new ranking is a testament to the many San Diego residents and businesses harnessing our natural resources as we march toward our goal of using 100 percent renewable energy throughout the city.”

In addition to San Diego and Los Angeles, San Jose also ranks high in 4th place for total installed solar power and 2nd on a solar-per-person basis. San Francisco earned 11th place for total installed solar power. Sacramento earned 13th place on the total listing and 10th place in the per capita list. Riverside is moving up the ranks for solar-per-person, earning the 8th per capita rank nationwide.

“Riverside residents and business owners have embraced solar as a smart way to harness the power of the sun,” Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “From the individual solar units on homes and businesses to the solar farm on top of a former landfill, Riverside is proud to be a leader in Southern California in developing clean energy. Our locally-owned Riverside Public Utilities and its Green Riverside efforts have played a major role.”

The figures in the report reflect the recent growth of solar across the country. The top 20 cities listed in the report have nearly as much solar today as the entire country had installed in 2010. In 2016, solar was the number one new source of energy installed in America.