Arizona Ranks Third in Nation for Rooftop Solar Energy

Dec 4, 2015

Arizona ranks third in the nation for small-scale solar installations, according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Solar panels at the STAR school near Flagstaff.
Credit Melissa Sevigny

Arizona earns one of the top spots in rooftop solar energy because of its sunny skies and incentives offered by utility companies. That’s according to Karin Wadsack, energy expert at Northern Arizona University.

“Arizona’s utilities until recently had strong solar incentives,” Wadsack says. “Those strong incentives really supported a large amount of growth in what we would refer to as the distributed solar industry.”

Arizona is on track to meet its goal of 15% renewable energy by 2025. Wadsack says utilities have scaled back financial incentives for rooftop solar as they’ve come closer to compliance.

California takes the top spot for small-scale solar capacity, followed by New Jersey.

The Solar Energy Industries Association also tracks solar capacity by state, but doesn’t distinguish between rooftop panels and utility-scale systems. It ranks Arizona as second in the nation.