Solving Cities

Which California city has the most solar roofs?

Posting in Cities

One California city has more solar capacity than the entire nation of Mexico. Find out which city is lighting the way forward on solar energy.

The Los Angeles Times points to an interesting study ranking the cities in California which have the most rooftop solar installations and generate the most solar energy. But it's not Los Angeles.

Actually, San Diego leads all California cities in solar rooftops. Last year, the city had 4,507 solar power installations. The city also lead all other cities in overall solar energy generation, producing almost 36.7 megawatts. To put the number in context, it's enough power to rank the city in the top 25 of nations in the world for solar energy production -- more solar capacity than the entire nation of Mexico.

Los Angeles wasn't far behind with 4,018 installations producing about 36.2 megawatts of solar energy.

The study notes that 10 years ago solar rooftops were a rarity in the state's cities. But in the past two years alone the solar industry has installed 5,000 kilowatts of solar in each of 10 California cities.

While there has certainly been a solar boom in California, the report points out that the state could go much further, with estimates that the state could generate as much as 80,000 MW of rooftop solar -- enough to supply one-third of the state's electricity each year.

Check out the report [PDF] for more city-to-city comparisons and data.

Photo: Port of San Diego/Flickr

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure