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SEPA Recognizes Utilities for Use of Solar Power

April 17, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

Pacific Gas & Electric far outshines other utilities when it comes to the most solar added to the grid, according to the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), which has released its annual ranking, naming the top 10 American electric utilities that have added the most new solar power to their systems and the most solar on a watts-per-customer basis in 2012.

The ranking is part of the sixth annual Utility Solar Rankings report. The full report, which will be released in May 2013, identifies leading solar industry trends such as total installed capacity, market share and industry growth rates in 2012.

Utilities ranking in this year’s SEPA Top 10 by Solar Megawatt accounted for 73 percent of all capacity integrated in 2012, a slight increase from 2011.

Among the top three in the MW rankings are some of the nation’s largest utilities – Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California, Southern California Edison and Public Service Electric & Gas Co. (NJ) – which often rank highly in this category due to their expansive customer solar programs and utility purchasing programs. All of the utilities on the top 10 list were previously ranked in 2011 with the exception of Progress Energy Carolinas, which is in its first year on the list. This is the fifth year that Pacific Gas and Electric Company has topped the list.

Here are the top 10 utilities based on MW capacity added in 2012:

  1. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (CA) – 805
  2. Southern California Edison (CA) – 195
  3. Public Service Electric & Gas Company (NJ) – 145
  4. Arizona Public Service (AZ) – 124
  5. NV Energy (NV) – 102
  6. Jersey Central Power & Light (NJ) – 98
  7. Tucson Electric Power Company (AZ) – 73
  8. Progress Carolinas (NC) – 70
  9. Sacramento Municipal Utility District (CA) – 66
  10. Hawaiian Electric Company (HI) – 65

The SEPA Top 10 Solar Watts-Per-Customer rankings take into account the number of customers each utility serves relative to their solar megawatts installed, giving small utilities a more competitive opportunity to measure their solar energy capacity. Leading the Solar Watts-Per-Customer rankings are many municipal utilities including the City of St. Mary’s, Ohio, Kauai Island Utility Co-op in Hawaii and Bryan Municipal Utilities in Ohio. Both Ohio utilities were not previously ranked and Kauai moved up from number 12 in the 2011 ratings.

Here are the top 10 utilities based on watts-per-customer installed in 2012:

  1. City of St Marys/City of St Marys Municipal Electric System (OH) – 563
  2. Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (HI) – 282
  3. Bryan Municipal Utilities (OH) – 276
  4. Hawaiian Electric Company (HI) – 220
  5. Chickasaw Electric Cooperative (TN) – 217
  6. Maui Electric Company Ltd (HI) – 198
  7. Imperial Irrigation District (CA) – 190
  8. Tucson Electric Power Company (AZ) – 182
  9. City of Napoleon/Napoleon Light & Power (OH) – 180
  10. Vineland Municipal Electric Utility (NJ) – 162


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