- Southern California Edison (SCE) was the utility with the most new installed solar capacity at the end of 2015, according to a new report from a utility-solar group. The municipal utility for the Village of Minster, Ohio, meanwhile, was the power provider with the most solar watts per customer installed in 2015, according to the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), formerly the Solar Energy Power Association.
- The two companies topped more than 330 U.S. electric power providers to head SEPA’s lists of top 10 utilities in solar for 2015. The 330 providers collectively accounted for 6,428 MW of new residential, commercial, and utility-scale grid-connected solar capacity last year.
- The muni for the Village of Minster, population of 2,850, installed a record-breaking 2,104 watts per customer. SCE added 1,258 MW of solar capacity to its grid and, for the first time in eight years, took the top spot away from Pacific Gas & Electric, which installed 787 MW of new solar.
The utilities on the two top ten lists accounted for 65% of all new U.S. grid-connected solar in 2015.
Both Duke Energy Progress of North Carolina, with 461 MW and 354 watts per customer, and Dominion North Carolina Power, with 232 MW and 1,946 watts per customer, were ranked among the top ten on both lists, reflecting the strength of North Carolina’s utility-scale solar growth.
Municipal and electric cooperative utilities captured seven of the top ten positions on the watts per customer list, primarily because smaller utilities have a statistical advantage in that category.
The only IOUs on that list are the North Carolina utilities and Hawaiian Electric subsidiary Maui Electric (MECO). North Carolina utility-scale growth is supported by PURPA qualifying facilities. The 200 MW peak MECO load makes it similar in size to the munis and co-ops that dominate.