SEPA reveals top 10 U.S. solar utilities

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The
Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has for the first time compiled
the Top 10 energy utilities that use solar power as part of its energy
mix. It may be a short-term position due to the recent scale of
newly-announced solar plants but, according to the SEPA figures that
were compiled through to the end of 2007, Southern California Edison
(CA) took top honors as the most solar-integrated utility with the most
overall solar capacity (MW) and solar capacity per customer
(MW/customer).

“Based on recent announcements and internal discussions with utilities, SEPA anticipates that utilities will quickly become the largest and one of the most important customers for the solar industry,” said Julia Hamm, SEPA Executive Director. “Whether solar electric systems are developed by utilities, their customers, or solar companies, the utilities’ proactive engagement with emerging solar technologies is important to the solar industry as a whole. This market survey and resulting rankings provide a baseline against which increased utility activity can be measured in the future.”
 
Top 10 lists were also released based on the amount of solar electricity interconnected to the utility in two different configurations: customer side of the meter and utility side of the meter.
 
On the customer side of the meter, Pacific Gas & Electric (CA) took the honors for both the largest amount of overall solar capacity and the highest MW per customer. On the utility side of the meter, Southern California Edison is the highest-ranked utility both for overall MW as well as MW per customer, which drove its number one total ranking.
 
“These top ten rankings highlight solar-leading utilities that have put significant efforts into facilitating what have traditionally been customer-based solar solutions,” says Mike Taylor, SEPA Director of Research. “What has become apparent however is that over the next few years, there will be an unprecedented level of new utility engagement in the solar industry that develops both centralized and distributed systems in new and unique ways.  Several U.S. utilities, some of whom aren’t in these rankings yet, are positioning themselves to be the solar industries largest and most innovative customers.”
 
The full report, which includes the rankings, is available for download here.

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