The top 10 US Utilities ranked by solar capacity additions installed 561 megawatts (MW) of new solar capacity in 2010 – demonstrating 100% growth over 2009, according to the Solar Electric Power Association’s (SEPA) Top 10 Utility Solar Rankings released recently. SEPA’s annual top 10 list ranks utilities by solar megawatts added as well as solar watts-per-customer. It provides great insight into the trends of solar deployment across the country.
For the first time ever, 63% of the new solar capacity added by utilities in the US came from utilities outside California. Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG & E) maintained it leadership status by adding 157 MW of solar in 2010. However, Florida Power & Light (FP & L) and New Jersey’s Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE & G) raced to grab the number 2 and 3 spots with 87 MW and 68 MW respectively.
Ever since the first conference to discuss what solar could do for meeting electricity supply held in 1973, in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the solar industry has talked about the holy grail of "grid parity".
California's solar industry scored a significant policy victory with the passage of AB 510, which raises the requirement on the state’s electric utilities to “net meter” customer-sited solar systems to 5% of a utility’s annual peak demand from 2.5%.