Distributed Energy Resources

Public power utilities earn top solar rankings

Several public power utilities are included on top 10 utility solar rankings recently released by the Smart Electric Power Alliance.

The top 10 rankings are decided from utilities that participate in SEPA's Annual Utility Market Survey. The 2019 survey covered solar and energy storage, ranking utilities for adding the most megawatts or watts per customer in 2018.

The survey collected figures from over 500 utilities across the country on solar connected to the grid in 2018.

With respect to the top 10 list of utilities on an annual megawatt basis, Texas-based public power utilities Austin Energy (192.9 MW) and Georgetown Utility Systems (154 MW) were ranked seventh and tenth, respectively.

Several public power utilities were also represented on the top 10 list for annual watts per customer:

  • Georgetown Utility Systems (second place, 6,048.7 annual watts per customer)
  • Village Electric Utility-Brewster, Ohio (third place, 1,980.9 annual watts per customer)
  • Bolivar Energy Authority in partnership with Tennessee Valley Authority (Tenn.) (fifth place, 1,482.8 annual watts per customer)
  • Middleton Electric Light Department, Middleton, Mass. (sixth place, 1,358.9 annual watts per customer)
  • Denton Municipal Electric, Denton, Texas (ninth place, 595.3 annual watts per customer).

TVA was also represented on the list in partnership with Tennessee’s Chickasaw Electric Cooperative, with a ranking of seventh (829.1 annual watts per customer).

Florida's Reedy Creek Improvement District was in the top spot on the top 10 list for annual watts per customer (3,5936.4). Reedy Creek Improvement District encompasses approximately 25,000 acres in both Orange and Osceola counties, servicing 19 landowners, including Walt Disney Co. and its wholly-owned affiliates.

“Austin Energy is thrilled to be recognized by SEPA, once again, for our efforts to move toward more renewable energy sources,” said Jackie Sargent, Austin Energy General Manager. “Currently, about 39 percent of our customers’ energy needs are offset with renewable resources as we continue to reduce our carbon footprint. We are on track to achieve our goal to offset customer energy consumption with 65 percent renewable energy by the end of 2027,” she said.

Meanwhile, SEPA on June 6 released its 2019 Utility Solar Market Snapshot, which found that the U.S. solar market is still growing and notably expanding to new emerging state markets. There were 7.3 GW interconnected in 2018, marking a 20.1% increase in total capacity over 2017.

SEPA noted that its energy storage rankings will soon be released.