Tampa on Tilt

Tampa named “Solar Leader” in new report on solar power progress

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City performs well as solar capacity continues to grow nationwide

Tampa ranked 29th out of 70 major cities for solar energy capacity. The results come from the seventh edition of Shining Cities: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy, a new report released today by Environment Florida Research & Policy Center. It is the most comprehensive survey available of installed solar capacity in major U.S. cities.

For its work, Tampa received the designation of “Solar Leader,” which means the city has between 25 to 50 watts of solar PV installed per person. This marks the second time the city has earned that distinction.

“Tampa’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,” said Ryann Lynn, climate and clean energy advocate with Environment Florida Research & Policy Center. “Despite the current slowdown in solar development due to COVID-19, the remarkable progress of the past year is worth highlighting.”

Tampa’s leaders were honored by the “Solar Leader” title and have new staff to help them reach their renewable energy goals. 

“It’s exciting to see residents across Tampa continuing to add solar to their energy mix,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. “With the addition of Whit Remer, our new Sustainability and & Resilience Officer, we are ready to double down on our commitment to renewable energy. We are actively assessing projects and identifying partners and programs to help the City add new solar capacity.”

Along with Tampa, three other Florida cities were highlighted in this report. Jacksonville ranked 19th while Orlando placed 32nd and Miami finished 53rd.

Beyond the findings in the Sunshine state, 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 regional per capita solar capacity were: Washington D.C. in the South Atlantic, Honolulu in the Pacific region; Las Vegas in the Mountain region; Indianapolis in the North Central region; San Antonio in the South Central 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 Florida 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 Lynn. "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 Florida Research & Policy Center is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to protecting Florida’s air, water, and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help people make their voices heard in local, state, and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives.