According to the Solar Electric Power Association’s (SEPA) most recent report, US-based power utilities are ramping up the use of solar photovoltaics. The 2010 Utility Solar Rankings report identifies the top 10 US utilities that added the most new solar power to their systems last year as well as the top 10 utilities that added the most solar on a watts-per-customer-served basis.
In total, the utilities analyzed reported that they added 561MW of new solar capacity in 2010, which is an increase of 100% in comparison to the figures submitted in 2009. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), based in northern California, topped the leader board, adding a total of 157MW of solar energy to the grid last year.
East Coast utilities Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G) came second and third in the power added rankings. The highest placed cooperative utility on the list, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Cooperative Association (Tri-State), which is based in Colorado, came sixth, adding a total of 30MW of solar in 2010.
On a watts-per-customer basis, municipal utility, Silicon Valley Power in Santa Clara came top, followed by PSE&G and Hawaiian Electric Company.
The data recorded by the 2010 Utility Solar Rankings report identifies that a growing number of solar projects are centralized, and that more utilities are choosing to own their own solar capacity, rather than relying largely on purchasing solar from independent power producers.
The 2010 Utility Solar Rankings report contains additional details about the total solar capacity of US utilities, rankings by regions, geographical diversity and other utility solar trends.