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Top 10 U.S. States by Solar Power

Name the ten U.S. states that have the greatest amount of installed solar power.
Source. As of Q1 2024.
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: June 9, 2024
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First submittedJuly 9, 2018
Times taken21,252
Average score80.0%
Rating4.19
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Megawatts
State
46,874
California
22,872
Texas
13,912
Florida
9,310
North Carolina
7,675
Arizona
Megawatts
State
6,382
Nevada
5,913
Georgia
5,560
New York
5,276
New Jersey
5,070
Massachusetts
33 Comments
+9
Level 62
Jul 9, 2018
California, ftw.
+20
Level 77
Jul 9, 2018
Texas could easily add so much more and funny how Florida and New Mexico aren't even on the list.
+12
Level 81
Jul 26, 2018
It's all about state legislatures supporting or fighting the industry. If you have a government that puts artificial barriers in place that devalue investments by homeowners or commercial farms, you're not going to get much installed capacity.
+9
Level 82
Jun 10, 2024
Six years later and Florida is in third place.
+1
Level 62
Jun 22, 2024
Finally! I got solar here in Orlando in 2019. Such a good move. Lots of solar farms going in as well. Glad the quiz gets updated with new stats!
+4
Level 87
Jul 9, 2018
Yeah, no states from the southeast except North Carolina (purple state). Oh well, wait until oil gets back to $150/bbl.
+4
Level 86
Sep 18, 2018
Oil itself doesn't really compete with solar. Solar is used for the electric grid and oil is almost never used for the electric grid save a few outliers (Hawaii used to be one of those outliers, not sure about now). Natural gas, admittedly the same industry as oil, does compete with solar.

So I agree with the others that say this is state politics. Texas should have far more dual use land with its wind farms and solar capability considering much of the land can't even be properly used for farming or ranching.

+1
Level 64
Sep 18, 2018
Hoping...I have oil stock.
+7
Level 38
Jul 9, 2018
Florida is really making use of its nickname. #SunshineState?
+1
Level 53
Jul 14, 2018
It really should be named the Rainy State.
+1
Level 51
Jun 22, 2024
That's Washington, not FL.
+1
Level 75
Jun 24, 2024
Florida gets a lot more rain than Washington
+2
Level 48
Sep 18, 2018
North Carolina? Third most in the whole country. How did that happen?
+1
Level 61
Sep 18, 2018
My area is full of solar farms. I pass three of them (and a wind farm!) on my drive to work. From what I understand there were great leaps in renewable energy here a few years ago thanks to proper legislation and subsidizing farmers who put land towards it. There's been some pushback recently, mostly from the top because it supposedly "interferes with local military programs" and from the bottom because we don't see any of the energy produced being used locally. But they're still here.
+1
Level 77
Sep 19, 2018
There is also a very large tech company presence here that would probably request renewable energy as a source of power
+1
Level 26
Sep 2, 2022
Makes sense if you consider several statistics. First of all North Carolina is the 7th biggest state in the country by population and has the third largest net migration. So, what that means is that there is a ton of new homeowners.

Secondly, the two biggest factors it seems like for this metric are geography (specifically how far southern and hot a state is) and politics (typically more liberal states have higher solar rates). Well, combined with the population growth, North Carolina is a relatively warm state with a long coastline. It also is a purple state and is only going to continue to become more liberal. Different politics than most of the southeast.

+1
Level 78
Jun 10, 2024
I immediately thought "Research Triangle", and gave NC a try. I don't know if that's the reason.
+1
Level 68
Sep 18, 2018
Pushing it to feature this quiz???
+5
Level 82
Sep 18, 2018
Though size, population and geography obviously plays a part, this seems to have a lot more to do with politics than the amount of sunshine. I'm most surprised that New Mexico didn't make it.
+2
Level 75
Sep 18, 2018
One of the problems is that most individuals and businesses don't go 100% solar, and somebody still has to pay for the overhead and maintenance on the existing grid. Some states allow electric companies to add a surcharge to any customers who supplement with solar power, claiming that without the charge their other customers will have to make up the difference. They say that puts their non-solar customers in the position of subsidizing those who use solar power. The power companies worry that if enough people go solar, they won't be able to maintain their systems for those who cannot or choose not to do so. The solar industry is still young enough that those issues haven't yet been worked out in many states.
+2
Level 66
Sep 19, 2018
Seems like quite a shame Hawaii, with it's quite small area, has greater production than the whopper of a state that is Texas
+3
Level ∞
Jun 9, 2024
Well, that didn't last, lol!
+2
Level 47
Sep 27, 2022
Update needed

https://www.seia.org/research-resources/top-10-solar-states-0

+1
Level 76
May 24, 2023
Bruh New Mexico and Florida aren't on the list and somehow NEW JERSEY and MASSACHUSETTS are despite them being cold states. Solar power is very useless when like 4 months are snowing
+1
Level 82
Jun 10, 2024
Seems Florida has been REALLY busy building solar panels in the last year.
+1
Level 69
Jul 31, 2023
Tiny New Jersey generates more than 3 times the solar energy of Texas?? I would have guessed Texas produces like a 100 times more than anything in the North East.
+2
Level 81
Sep 1, 2023
Definitely needs updated. Texas is now number two for solar generation, and Florida has made a huge surge upward. Not even close to accurate anymore as some states produce more than 10 times as much now as they did in 2015.
+1
Level ∞
Jun 9, 2024
Updated finally!
+1
Level 71
Jun 22, 2024
I have a feeling now that even past opponents of renewable energy are turning around to it. Politicians might rail against renewable energy in speeches, but under the radar, they know its benefits. With how cheap solar has become recently and how many jobs it creates, it's a huge boon to the economy. The clean energy revolution in America might be happening quietly and slowly, but surely enough it is happening.
+1
Level 62
Jun 24, 2024
and those cheap solar panels come from...?
+1
Level 75
Jun 24, 2024
They can rail against sensible ideas all they want. In the end, certain things are going to happen based on economics regardless of dumb political biases. (see EVs for the next example).
+1
Level 93
Jun 10, 2024
I’m surprised that my home state of Arizona isn’t even farther up the list, given the vast stretches of empty land and abundant sunshine. I know from looking into it that the economics of solar power are a bit iffy for a single family home even here, but I would assume that economies of scale would make it very feasible for the large utilities.
+1
Level 68
Jun 14, 2024
Solar is actually just about the cheapest source of power out there these days at an industrial scale. It is a lot cheaper than building new coal, nuclear, geothermal, or hydro on a cost per kWH basis, and the only really competitive power plant types are high-efficiency natural gas plants and wind power.

The low cost of solar and wind really muscled out more or less every other type of power plant for anything newly built in the last few years. Something like 60% of the total power of new plants in construction is coming from new solar installs, with the rest coming from wind and battery storage upgrades, and only ~5% from new gas plants.