LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas ranks No. 2 in the nation for solar power capacity in a new study released this week.
Ranking only behind Honolulu among major U.S. cities, Las Vegas has the equipment in place to produce 690 watts of electricity per person — a total of 443 megawatts of solar capacity.
The new study, Shining Cities: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy, produced by the Environment Nevada Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group, looks at solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity and sets the rankings based on the population of major cities.
Overall, Las Vegas ranked No. 3 for total installed PV capacity, behind Los Angeles and San Diego.
“Vegas isn’t just an entertainment capital – it’s also become one of America’s solar power capitals,” said Johanna Neumann, senior director of Environment Nevada Research & Policy Center’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy.
“I’m amazed by how far we’ve come toward tapping the immense power of the sun since the Earth Day tradition began in 1970. Las Vegas – a ‘Solar Superstar’ – is such a shining example of that progress,” Neumann said.
According to worldpopulationreview.com, Nevada is the third-sunniest state, behind Arizona and New Mexico.
“By taking advantage of its abundant desert sunshine, Vegas is helping clean up the air and protect a livable climate for all of us. That’s something to celebrate and build on, on Earth Day and every day,” Neumann said.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman said solar has been a priority.
“The city of Las Vegas has long been a leader when it comes to sustainability, and we make it a priority to meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations,” Goodman said. “Solar, recycling, renewable energy and water conservation are all key components to the city’s success.”
The “Shining Cities” study found that 15 major U.S. cities have accomplished a tenfold increase in their solar capacity between 2014 and 2022, and solar power can provide the energy needs of 23 million homes now.
Nevada law requires that the state achieve 50% renewable energy by the year 2030. The state has the No.1 ranked solar economy in a survey released in January — despite a setback in 2015, when “net-metering” rates were changed and residential solar projects plummeted.