SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio maintained its rank as first in Texas and fifth in the nation for total solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the eighth edition of the Environment Texas Research & Policy Center’s report Shining Cities: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy. The city is home to 354.9 megawatts of solar capacity total, which comes out to 247.4 watts per person.
The report, which is the most comprehensive survey available of installed solar capacity in major U.S. cities, designates San Antonio a ‘Solar Superstar,’ meaning it boasts 100 or more watts of solar PV capacity installed per capita. Solar capacity in San Antonio increased 39% since 2020.
“The Alamo City has once again earned the title of ‘Solar Superstar,’ said Luke Metzger, executive director of Environment Texas Research & Policy Center. “This Earth Week, I’m struck by how far we’ve come toward tapping the immense power of the sun – this report goes to show just how much progress we’ve made right here in Texas. San Antonio is truly setting the pace when it comes to solar adoption, and leaving behind a cleaner environment, healthier community and more resilient future in the process.”
The City of San Antonio has a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, and offers a Bring Solar Home platform to help residents explore their solar options for going solar.
“Home-grown solar power is such an important part of building a cleaner, healthier and more resilient San Antonio,” said the City’s Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “I’m so proud of the work our city has done to take advantage of our abundant sunshine, from the goals we established through our SA Climate Ready Plan to the steps we’ve taken to help our residents access clean solar power for their homes and businesses.”
“We are thrilled that San Antonio remains number one in the state for solar generation and number five in the nation- especially as installed solar capacity has soared,” said Rudy D. Garza, Interim President & CEO of CPS Energy. “ This designation speaks volumes about the work we have done as a community to make San Antonio a leader in the clean energy space. We thank our customers and partners for helping us achieve this distinction and look forward to the work we will do together to build an even greener San Antonio.”
Beyond the findings in Texas, the report noted that the United States now has 121.4 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity installed. That’s enough solar energy to power more than 23 million homes. Additionally, the report found that 15 major U.S. cities recorded a tenfold increase in their solar capacity between 2014 and 2022.
Nationally, Honolulu placed first for solar energy capacity per capita, while Los Angeles finished No. 1 in total solar energy capacity installed. Austin Energy had the most solar per capita for total solar (both inside and outside the service territory) among surveyed municipally owned utilities with 3,119.8 watts per person.
These numbers tell the story of progress driven by pro-solar policies, many of which are outlined in the report. CPS Energy’s Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan (STEP) has been an important driver in San Antonio’s success, with $153 million invested in solar since 2009. Metzger urged the city to continue the STEP program, to install solar panels on city buildings, and to adopt “solar ready” requirements on new construction to ensure San Antonio’s continued leadership.
“I’m so proud to see the leadership of Texas cities, especially San Antonio, featured among the very best in the nation in this solar survey,” said Metzger. “But we can’t stop here. Our solar potential is practically limitless, and we can do even more to tap that potential. We need continued commitment from our local and state leaders, on Earth Day and every day, to pick up the pace of progress even more in the years to come.”
Environment Texas Research & Policy Center works for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate.