Burlington, Vt. – The City of Burlington ranks number five for solar energy per capita in a new report, landing it among the nation’s leaders for installing clean energy from the sun.
“Cities like Burlington are leading the way to a future powered by clean, renewable energy,” said Bret Fanshaw with Environment America. “By tapping into more of our vast solar energy potential, we can benefit from cleaner air and fight climate change.”
Burlington ranked ahead of Las Vegas, Nev., and just behind Indianapolis, Ind., for megawatts of solar energy per capita as of year-end 2017.
“For the last six years, one of our major goals has been to encourage the installation of more solar in Burlington,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “We were at 25 installations when this effort began – we are now at 168 and growing. It’s exciting to see that this growth has put us in the top five cities in the country for solar per person, and we look forward to new solar installations benefiting Burlingtonians and our environment – and helping us achieve our net zero energy goal – in the years to come.”
As solar continues to play a role in moving towards the city’s net zero energy vision, the city could do more to promote local solar growth by streamlining its permitting process, which is one of the recommendations laid out in the report.
The report, Shining Cities 2018: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America, shows that the top 20 solar cities, comprising just 0.1 percent of the country’s land mass, account for 4 percent of U.S. solar capacity.
“We are in a moment when progress on renewable energy will come from cities across the country,” said Fanshaw with Environment America. “More local leaders should step up and start plugging their communities into the clean and virtually limitless power of the sun.”
Shining Cities is the fifth annual report from Environment America Research & Policy Center. Each year, the survey ranks nearly 70 of the nation’s major cities by megawatts of solar energy.