The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) today named the Top 10 American electric utilities that in 2013 added the most new solar power to their systems and the most solar on a watts-per-customer basis. This annual ranking, which identifies the companies that are integrating solar into the nation’s power grid, is part of the seventh annual Utility Solar Rankings report. The full report, which will be released in June 2014, identifies leading solar industry trends such as total installed capacity, market share and industry growth rates.
Utilities ranking in this year’s SEPA Top 10 by Solar Megawatt accounted for 82 percent of all capacity integrated in 2013, up from 73 percent in 2012. The top three leading implementers of utility solar in the Megawatt rankings hail from the western half of the United States – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), San Diego Gas and Electric Company (SDG&E), and Arizona Public Service (APS). Rounding out the Megawatt list are – Southern California Edison (SCE), Duke Energy Progress, National Grid, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), Hawaiian Electric Company, Georgia Power, and Duke Energy Carolinas. Six of the ten utilities previously ranked in 2012. Newcomers to the list include Duke Energy Progress, National Grid, and Georgia Power. This is the sixth year that Pacific Gas and Electric Company has topped the list.
“We are firmly committed to renewable energy and solar is a vital part of California’s energy mix,” said Steve Malnight, PG&E’s Vice President of Customer Energy Solutions. “Given both PG&E’s large-scale solar procurement and our customers’ ongoing support of solar and other clean technologies, we are confident we will continue to be a renewable energy leader.”
The SEPA Top 10 Solar Watts-Per-Customer rankings take into account the number of customers each utility serves relative to its solar megawatts installed, giving small utilities a means to measure the relative intensity of their solar energy capacity on an equal footing with any other utility, regardless of size.
Leading the Solar Watts-Per-Customer rankings is Sterling Municipal Light Department (SMLD), a public power utility in Massachusetts that serves 3,700 customers. Following Sterling is San Diego Gas and Electric Company (SDG&E), and a second public power utility, Silicon Valley Power. The remaining Top 10 providers include Arizona Public Service (APS), Hawaiian Electric Company, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Hawaii Electric Light, Maui Electric Company, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC), and Imperial Irrigation District (IID). In the Solar Watts-Per-Customerrankings the Hawaiian utilities and Imperial Irrigation District from California were in the top ten in 2012 as well.
“We are very excited to be receiving recognition for our solar program,” said Sean Hamilton, general manager, Sterling Municipal Light Department. “We owe the success of the program to our entire community of staff, supporters and partners. The Sterling Light Commission, employees, Sterling Selectmen and Planning Board, our business partners, E.H. Perkins, CES Sterling LLC, INDU Solar Holdings, groSolar, as well as many others, all played a role in creating a public-private partnership that included an educational piece for our local schools. This achievement is something the whole town can be proud of for many years to come.”
“We are thrilled to see milestones surpassed and barriers broken from coast to coast,” said Julia Hamm, president and CEO of SEPA. “It’s truly inspiring to see utility partners and their consumer communities rally around implementing solar programs that are changing the nature of our national energy portfolio.”