AUSTIN - Fort Worth has slightly more total solar energy, and 50% more solar per capita, than Dallas, according to a new report released today by Environment Texas Research & Policy Center. The results come from the seventh edition of Shining Cities 2020: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy, ahead of the expected approval by the Dallas City Council of a new climate plan which includes new goals for solar energy.
“While Dallas’ progress has been slower than its peers when it comes to solar energy, there is still a vast potential for us to unlock the power of the sun,” said Luke Metzger, Executive Director of Environment Texas Research & Policy Center. “Solar is growing slowly but surely in Dallas, but it’s time to pick up the pace. Though solar installations have slowed down due to COVID19, Dallas has a chance to build out a clean and affordable energy future coming out of the crisis.”
The report, the most comprehensive survey available of installed solar capacity in major U.S. cities, found that Fort Worth comes in 5th place in Texas with 28.72 megawatts (MW) of solar and Dallas in 6th place with 27.36 MW. On a per capita basis, Fort Worth has about 50% more solar, with 32 watts per person to Dallas’ 18 watts per person. Solar capacity for Dallas increased 24% last year, however, enough to move the city up from 26th to 23rd place nationally, leaping ahead of Seattle, Kansas City and Raleigh. Greenville, Plano, Arlington, and Grand Prairie rounded out the top cities in the Metroplex, each of which had more solar installed than Atlanta, Nashville, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Orlando.
Metzger noted that the Dallas City Council is expected to approve a climate action plan today which calls for new policies to promote solar, including a requirement that new buildings install solar or be built in a way which solar can easily be incorporated later.
Beyond the findings in Dallas and Fort Worth, the report examined national solar power in major cities over the past seven years. The analysis found that of the 57 cities surveyed in all seven editions of this report, almost 90 percent more than doubled their total installed solar PV capacity between 2013 and 2019. Overall, this year’s Shining Cities survey ranked 70 of America’s major cities by solar energy capacity. Honolulu placed first overall for solar energy capacity per capita, while Los Angeles finished No. 1 in total solar energy capacity installed. San Antonio led the state and came in 5th place nationally for total solar within its city limits. Austin Energy ranked first among municipally owned utilities for per capita solar capacity of all solar owned or contracted (including outside city limits), by supplying more than 1,500 watts per person of solar energy to its customers.
These numbers show tremendous progress, but the continued implementation of key policies, like those outlined in Environment Texas Research & Policy Center’s Renewables on the Rise report will be critical to keep clean energy growing.
“With the continued growth in solar at risk in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, we must make smart policy choices in this space," said Metzger. "That means taking steps to build the future we need, by investing in infrastructure that advances a future powered entirely by renewable energy sources."
Environment Texas Research and Policy Center works for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate.