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2024’s Best Cities for Solar Energy

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Photo by Bill Mead on Unsplash

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Our national solar capacity reached record growth in 2023, but which U.S. cities lead the way in solar energy potential? To mark Solar Week — observed the last full week of March — Roof Gnome ranked 2024’s Best Cities for Solar Energy.

Roof Gnome connects homeowners with their area’s best solar panel providers, installers, and repairers. It compared over 470 of the biggest U.S. cities based on the solar viability of their roofs, potential solar energy production, and projected financial and environmental impact. We also measured average grid energy prices, access to solar equipment and services, and time to recoup solar investments among 17 total metrics.

See the 10 best (and 10 worst) cities for solar energy.

Best Cities for Solar Energy

Rank      City

1              Phoenix, AZ

2              Houston, TX

3              Los Angeles, CA

4              San Diego, CA

5              San Antonio, TX

6              Scottsdale, AZ

7              San Jose, CA

8              Mesa, AZ

9              Albuquerque, NM

10           El Paso, TX

Worst Cities for Solar Energy

Rank      City

1              Redmond, WA

2              Kirkland, WA

3              Bellevue, WA

4              Bellingham, WA

5              Everett, WA

6              Spokane, WA

7              Pittsburgh, PA

8              Federal Way, WA

9              Duluth, MN

10           Auburn, WA

Its ranking was dominated by the sunniest U.S. cities—Phoenix (No. 1), Los Angeles (No. 3), and El Paso, Texas (No. 10). These top performers have high Roof Viability and Energy Potential.

Cities with less solar-friendly climates might seem like poor candidates for solar power. Still, Google’s Project Sunroof data identified extensive infrastructure in cities like New York (No. 13), Chicago (No. 48), and Indianapolis (No. 107) to support solar energy production.

Washington state’s Puget Sound region makes up nearly all of our worst 10 cities — but “worst” is a bit of a misnomer in this case. Clouds dominate the skies in this region much of the year. Still, Puget Sound residents already enjoy the nation’s most affordable electricity, nearly all of which is generated from renewable resources.

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