The Leading U.S. States in Solar Electricity Generation
As renewable energy in the U.S. skyrockets, so does the interest in residential solar and other solar adoption solutions. The power of the sun is free, the initial cost low, and solar energy systems are one time installations with the shortest payback periods. All this has led many homeowners to switch to renewable energy to power their homes.
What are the Best States for Solar Energy?
The golden state is one of the best states for solar in the USA right now, with a high adoption rate and a high solar interest. With over 32,394 MW of installed solar capacity, the state of CA can power more than 8.4 million homes with renewable energy.
The Lone Star State is the second-best state for solar power. The total capacity of utility-scale and rooftop solar in Texas is 11,063 MW, which is enough to power 1.3 million homes with their solar system.
The Sunshine State is the third among the best states for solar in the U.S. Solar Panels in Florida produce as much as 7,681 MW of clean energy. This is enough to keep appliances on over 900,000 Florida homes.
Old North State has enough solar projects to keep 846,000 homes running. With a total solar system power of 7,228 MW, it currently ranks fourth in the U.S.
The Grand Canyon State can boast their fifth position in the U.S. as one of the best states for solar. Solar awareness, financial incentives and tax credit have helped install some 6,112 MW of solar panels in this state.
The Battle Born State total solar system can produce as much as 4,209 MW of solar power every hour. This much electricity helps run 695,000 homes in Nevada.
The Old Colony State has around 3,380 MW of installed utility and rooftop solar. It has great tax incentives, a metering program and the solar adoption rate is high as well. Currently, around 552,000 homes use clean energy.
The Peach State enjoys not only peaches but a lot of sunshine as well. The peach state homeowners know how to use this much sun power in a smart way: With 3,249 MW of solar installed, it is one of the best states for solar.
The Empire State cannot boast their high power price. However, as the 10th on our list of the best U.S. states to install solar in, New York can boast a total of 2,990 MW of installed solar power and 483,000 homes running completely on renewables.
Top 10 Solar States
|State||Solar Energy Production - July 2021 (MW)||% U.S. Total Solar Energy Production (MW)|
The Solar States with the Best Deals
The total solar capacity of a state is a great indicator of how profitable the solar industry is. However, the total cost of running solar in your state and the price of power can determine the payback time. When trying to understand how profitable investing in solar is in your own state, look at the payback periods and highest investment return rate (ROI).
Lowest Pay Back Period
- NJ – NJ has the shortest solar payback period of all the states. If you are a NJ homeowner, you can get your money back in as little as 5.5 years.
- Massachusetts – MA has one of the lowest payback periods in the States. With just under 6 years payback time, going solar in MA is the way to go.
- California – CA is the third on our list of fastest payback states for solar. If you install a solar system on your rooftop, you’ll be able to get your money back in 6 years.
- South Carolina – the Palmetto state has great solar incentives. With the net metering policies, tax credits and other incentives offered by this state, you can expect to break even after as little as 7.5 years.
- Rhode Island – In Rhode Island, you can expect to see your money back in less than 8 years. A bit longer than other states, but still much faster than the 10-12 years of world average solar payback period.
Highest Investment Return Rate
The Investment Return Rate for solar ventures is best calculated as a function of savings and possible additional income with large-scale solar systems. Solar investment return rate follows the same curve as the shortest payback period and is a great way to understand going solar as an investment rather than a simple way to fight high temperatures.
No other state can boast a higher investment return rate than NJ. In this state, solar interest is in part sparked by significant solar incentives which cover most of the costs of joining the solar market. The ROI rate in NJ and many other U.S. states surpass investments in stocks, bonds and savings accounts.
Solar Energy Production by State
When it comes to solar production in the U.S., not all states are created equal. Solar energy systems seem to be the most popular in CA and TX. These two states have the highest residential solar rates as well as the highest installed solar capacity overall. This is due to high insolation, great community support and Renewable Portfolio Standard which mandates that they produce up to 60% of their energy from renewables by 2030.
On the other side of the solar power spectrum are North Dakota and South Dakota. North Dakota is slow to accept solar because of lower insolation and great wind potential that is more suitable for wind turbines. The same solar power scenario can be seen in South Dakota, where the majority of renewable energy comes from wind power.
|State||Solar Energy Produced (MW)||% in U.S. Solar Energy Production|
Solar Energy Statistics
|State||Solar Energy Production - July 2021 (MW)||Solar Energy Production - June 2021 (MW)||% Difference|
*Data not available for all states
What state has the most green energy?
Vermont, Idaho and Washington are the US states that have the greenest energy. The state of Vermont produces 99.6% of its energy from renewable sources, the state of Idaho 81.6 and Washington 80%. On the other side of the spectrum, Delaware, Ohio and Florida produce the least amount of their electric power from renewables including solar power, namely 1.68%, 2.48% and 2.53% respectively.
What state in the US uses the most solar energy?
California is the largest solar power producer in the USA. This state has a total solar capacity of more than 30 GW, which is enough to supply over 8.4 million homes with renewable energy. It is followed by Texas (6.8GW).
Where is the largest solar farm in USA?
The Solar Star, in CA, is the biggest solar farm in the USA and was the biggest solar farm in the world at the time of its construction. This power plant has 1.7 million solar panels and can produce 579MW of electricity, enough to power over 250,000 homes.
Which is the biggest solar plant in the world?
Bhadla Solar Park in India is the largest solar farm in the world as of 2021. This solar farm has a total solar capacity of 2,245MW and can deliver renewable energy to more than 620,000 homes.
Strong solar industry, expanding solar market and a high rate of solar adoption are the reason you get to see more rooftop solar every day. The installed solar capacity in the States is not enough to supply all electric power the USA uses, so financial incentives ensure short payback periods and ensure high solar adoption. Electricity does now come cheap for USA homeowners, so check if your state is the top state for solar in the USA and head for a bright and renewable future.