Athens Beats out Atlanta and Other Larger Cities in Solar City Rankings

Media Contacts

Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center

Athens, GA-Athens out ranks much larger cities like Charlotte, Orlando and even Atlanta for installed solar capacity per capita. The results come from the sixth edition of Shining Cities:The Top U.S. Cities for Solar a new report released today by Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center. It is the most comprehensive survey available of installed solar capacity in major U.S. cities.

“Athens is punching above its weight class,” said Jennette Gayer, Director of Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center. “They are beating out much larger cities when it comes to solar deployment per resident and setting an example in the southeast.”

Athens was not actually ranked in the report but info from shows that their 21.2 watts of installed solar capacity per capita put them ahead of many much larger cities around the country and in Georgia.

In addition to the annual rankings, the report examined national solar power in major cities over the past six years. The analysis found that from 2013 to 2018, solar energy capacity more than doubled in 45 of 57 of America’s largest cities. In the same time frame, Athens-Clarke County went form 4 installations and 42.1 kW of solar installed to 103 and 2.7 Mw.

Despite this success the report also found that all of the cities in the study could install far more solar energy capacity than they currently have. According the report, 33 cities could install at least 50 times as much solar PV as they currently have installed in total on their small building rooftops alone.

“Each year we harness more and more of the enormous solar energy potential in Georgia” said Gayer. “We still have a long way to go, but leaders like Mayor Girtz and Athens-Clarke County are taking the steps necessary, like the recently passed 100% clean energy commitment, to power more homes, schools and businesses with clean energy from the sun.”

This year’s Shining Cities survey ranks 69 of the nation’s major cities by solar energy capacity. Honolulu ranks first overall for solar energy capacity per capita, while Los Angeles places No. 1  in total solar energy capacity installed. Regional leaders for solar capacity per capita were Burlington, Vt. in the Northeast; Washington, D.C. in the South Atlantic; San Antonio in the South Central region; Indianapolis in the North Central region; Las Vegas in the Mountain region and Honolulu in the Pacific region.