Shining Cities report ranks Newark in nation’s Top 20 urban solar leaders

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Environment New Jersey

Newark ranked 17th for solar energy capacity per capita among the nation’s leaders, which ranked cities across the nation that have 50 or more watts of solar PV per person. Newark has a 27 total megawatts (MW) of solar power installed throughout the city. The results come from the seventh edition of Shining Cities, a new report released today by Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center. It is the most comprehensive survey available of installed solar capacity in U.S. cities.

“The Brick City has once again earned the title ‘Solar Star’,” said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center. “Newark’s leadership on solar has not only provided residents with clean, renewable power, but has also given other cities an excellent example on how to make it happen. Despite the current slowdown in solar development due to COVID-19, the remarkable progress of the past year is worth highlighting.”

Beyond the findings in New Jersey, 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 #1 in total solar energy capacity installed. Leaders in per capita solar capacity region were: Honolulu in the Pacific region; Las Vegas in the Mountain region; Indianapolis in the North Central region; San Antonio in the South Central region; Jacksonville, Fla., in the South Atlantic region; and Burlington, Vt., in the Northeast region.

These numbers show tremendous progress, but the continued implementation of key policies, like those outlined in Environment New Jersey 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 COVID-19 pandemic, we must make smart policy choices in this space,” said O’Malley. “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 New Jersey works for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the state put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy. Environment New Jersey is part of Environment America, a national network of 29 state environmental groups.