Portland featured in new analysis of solar power progress across the country

Media Contacts

PORTLAND –  Portland ranked 27th for solar energy capacity in the latest edition of the Environment Oregon Research and Policy Center’s report Shining Cities: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy

The report designates Portland a ‘Solar Star’ meaning it boasts over 50 watts of solar PV capacity installed per capita. Portland is home to 46.4 megawatts of solar capacity total, which comes out to 71.1 watts per person. 

“Stumptown has once again earned the title ‘Solar Star,'” said Celeste Meiffren-Swango, State Director with Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center. “This Earth Week, I’m struck by how far we’ve come toward tapping the immense power of the sun since Earth Day began back in 1970. Portland’s leadership on solar to date means a cleaner environment, healthier community and more resilient future.”

Shining Cities tracked data through December 2021, and found 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. Leaders in per capita solar capacity by 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; Washington, D.C., in the South Atlantic region; and Burlington, Vermont, in the Northeast region.

These numbers tell the story of progress driven by pro-solar policies, many of which are outlined in the report. Some of those include bulk purchasing programs to help residents obtain their power from local solar projects and automated permitting processes that make approvals for rooftop projects quick and affordable.

“Solar is a key feature of a future powered by renewable energy, and it’s great to see Portland working to build that future,” said Meiffren-Swango. “But we can’t stop here. Our solar potential is sky high and there’s a lot more we can do to tap into that potential. We need continued commitment from local leaders across the state, on Earth Day and every day, to pick up the pace of progress even more in the years to come.”


Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help the public make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives.