New study ranks Albuquerque the No. 3 city for solar energy in the U.S.

Media Contacts
John Ammondson

Albuquerque leads as solar capacity continues to grow nationwide

Environment New Mexico Research and Policy Center

Albuquerque– Albuquerque ranked 3rd for solar energy capacity per capita among the nation’s leaders. The results come from the seventh edition of Shining Cities 2020: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy, a new report released today by Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center. It is the most comprehensive survey available of installed solar capacity in major U.S. cities.

“The Duke City has once again earned the title ‘Solar Star’,” said John Ammondson, State Director with Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center. “Albuquerque’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.”

“We’re building a cleaner, healthier Albuquerque for our children,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “In just two years, we’ve built 29 of the City’s 38 solar sites—a huge leap forward for this community. And we’re not slowing down. By 2022 we’ll be off-setting 80% of our energy use, and we’re building a giant solar farm with PNM, Silver City, and the Jicarilla Apache Nation. I’m proud to say that we’re on track to reach 100% renewable energy by 2030.”

“Albuquerque has taken great strides in installing solar on city buildings as well as other renewable  energy projects that have moved the city to a cleaner future and growing our green economy,” said Galina Kofchock, owner of Osceola Energy Solar & President of the Renewable Energy Industries Association of New Mexico. “REIA members are excited that Albuquerque is being recognized for leading the way to a clean, sustainable economy for its citizens.” 

Beyond the findings in New Mexico, 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. Leaders in per capita solar capacity region were: Honolulu in the Pacific region; Albuquerque in the Mountain region; Indianapolis in the North Central region; San Antonio in the South Central region; Washington, D.C., 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 Mexico 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 Ammondson. “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 Mexico 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 Mexico is part of Environment America, a national network of 29 state environmental groups.