Salt Lake City outperformed 70 other cities to become the top 10 “solar star” in the U.S. based on megawatts of solar energy used per person in 2017.
The presence of solar companies in Utah, such as PowerCo Solar, plays a big role in the advancement of solar energy not only in the city but also throughout the state. The Solar Energy Industries Association said that more than 6,000 people work in Utah’s solar energy industry, which makes the state the eight highest consumer of the renewable resource.
During the previous year, 677 solar projects were completed in Salt Lake City compared to 52 in 2007. Kate Bowman, a solar project coordinator for Utah Clean Energy, said that the state tax credit since 2001 has been instrumental in the growth of solar energy.
Utah also recently revived a state program that provides households with $1,600 in non-refundable solar tax credits, which would gradually become smaller until 2025, according to the Office of Energy Development. A 30% federal tax credit until 2021 for residential renewable energy also encourages more people to patronize solar power. Salt Lake City still has a long way to go in terms of using it, since many cities, such as Honolulu have been ahead of the solar race.
In terms of installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity, Environment America said that Honolulu had almost three times more PV per capita than San Diego, with 606.4 watts of solar PV per person compared to 204.1 watts.
San Jose ranked close behind at the third spot with 191 watts per capita. Salt Lake City moved four places up to the 10th spot after recording almost 112 watts of solar PV in 2017.
It may take longer before homes can fully depend on solar energy, but it’s wise to test the renewable energy as a backup source as early as now to take advantage of lower electric bills.