The nation’s leading residential system installer SunRun teams with PV Solar Report, an industry data analyst organization, to provide stats on California’s solar industry. For their latest installment, PV Solar Report gleaned data from the state’s database of home solar rebate applications to determine the fastest-growing California solar cities.
For example, PV Solar Report founder Stephen Torres noted that “while Apple Valley may not have the most solar in the state, its solar installation numbers grew by almost 70 percent in 2011.”
California’s Top 10 Solar Cities 2012
Here are the cities that made the list:
The report not only counts the number of home solar installations and the rate of growth from one year the next, but looks at the number of solar leases as well. The increase in the number of solar leases is perhaps the most surprising data of all.
In Fresno, for example, out of 459 home PV system installations, 256 were installed as leased systems. It’s a trend that seems likely to continue. Beginning in June of 2001, solar leases began to outpace home solar system purchases. In December of 2011, leasing accounted for over 70 percent of California’s home PV market.
Equally surprising was SunRun’s account of their accomplishments. In 2007, SunRun virtually invented the solar lease model. They have remained the industry leader in solar leasing in California, with twice the market share of any other solar provider.
Their success has led to some pretty astounding statistics. The company boasts 18,000 home solar system installations. As Zach from CleanTechnica wrote in his article about the new data, “Wow, $1.5 million/day, one rooftop every 11 minutes! Impressive.”
SunRun describes their leasing program as a “solar power service,” allowing homeowners to use solar electricity in their homes for as little as zero down and letting them simply pay for the solar electricity that the home generates each month. SunRun President Lynn Jurich says it’s because of this option that solar is expanding to more median-income communities, adding that solar service enables homeowners to “lock in a low rate for clean electricity.”
Other fast-growing solar cities that didn’t make the top 10 list include Antioch, Norco and Whittier. Each grew by almost 70 percent last year. The PV Solar Report’s complete list of top-performing cities accounted for almost 7,500 residential systems installed in California last year.