By Ellie Borst for Cronkite News
Phoenix dipped slightly in a national ranking of solar power capacity, even as the total amount of power generated and the power per person increased from last year, according to a national report.
The “Shining Cities” report by Environment America said Phoenix’s 272.4MW of solar capacity was fourth-highest in the nation last year, down one place from the year before, while the 164 watts per capita was good for eighth place, a drop of two spots.
Still, the city ranked again as a “solar star” for its overall capacity, which Mayor Kate Gallego called a testament to the city’s dedication to solar power.
The report said total U.S. solar capacity has reached 77.7GW, enough to power more than 10 percent of U.S. homes.
In Phoenix, solar capacity rose from 236MW in 2018 to 272MW in 2019.
The city’s total photovoltaic solar generating capacity trailed only Los Angeles – which has been in first place for the last three years – San Diego and Honolulu, which bumped Phoenix from third place. But Phoenix still got high marks from an author of the report.
“One thing Phoenix is taking advantage of is installing solar on municipal property, they are doing an excellent, excellent job on that,” said Ben Sonnega, co-author of the report and Go Solar campaign associate at Environment America. “That’s one of the best ways mayors and elected officials can develop solar in their cities.”
Court Rich, board VP for the Arizona Solar Energy Industry Association and head of the renewable energy department for Rose Law Group, said solar in Arizona “makes all the sense in the world.”
“Frankly, we should be number one,” Rich said. “Because we are in the middle of the place with the most sunlight in the entire country.”
Read more at Cronkite News.