Top 10 solar states and where Texas ranks among them

October 8, 2020   By Arthur Murray

Top 10 solar states and where Texas ranks among them

(To our readers: Today we kick off a recurring series on where Texas ranks among other states in terms of generating power from some of the major sources. Today, we examine solar power.)

When you think of Texas energy, you think of oil. And you’re right to an extent – the state leads the nation in production of oil and natural gas by a huge margin. But Texas, which generates the most energy of any state – again by a huge margin – also is a leader in generating solar power.

According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Texas generated 1,098 thousand megawatt hours of electricity – yeah, we know it’s an awkward measure – from solar methods in July. That was the second most of any state, behind California. That state generated 5,527 thousand megawatt hours of power.

Truth to be told, the state generally ranks around fourth or fifth each month but increased production by 26.4 percent in July over the previous month. Year-to-date, in fact, Texas ranks fourth, behind California, North Carolina, and Arizona.

Here are the top 10 solar producers year-to-date, production in (here it comes again) thousand megawatt rates, and the percentage of solar power in the total generation of electricity so far this year:

State YTD solar generation YTD total generation % from solar
California 29,554 109,048 27.1
North Carolina 5,458 72,011 7.6
Arizona 5,327 60,985 8.7
Texas 4,873 273,337 1.8
Florida 4,478 144,159 3.1
Nevada 3,857 22,955 16.8
New Jersey 2,474 36,617 6.8
Massachusetts 2,392 10,766 22.2
New York 2,070 77,030 2.7
Utah 1,755 19,171 9.2

As you can see above, while Texas has generated the fourth-highest amount of electricity using solar through July, that amount represents only 1.8 percent of the state’s power. California gets 27.1 percent of its power from solar sources, and Massachusetts gets 22.2 percent of electricity from solar.

Here are the top 10 states with that get the largest percentage of their electricity from solar power:

State % from solar State % from solar
California 28.0 Utah 9.6
Vermont 24.3 Arizona 7.9
Hawaii 21.6 North Carolina 7.4
Massachusetts 16.1 New Mexico 6.5
Nevada 15.5 New Jersey 6.1

What about Texas solar power in 2019?

In 2019, Texas generated the fifth-largest amount of electricity from solar sources of any state, behind California, Arizona, North Carolina, and Nevada.

Here are the top 10 states in solar generation, their production for the year, and the percentage of solar power in the total generation of electricity during 2019:

State 2019 solar generation 2019 Total Generation Solar percentage
California 43,801 205,034 21.4
Arizona 7,683 113,287 6.8
North Carolina 7,566 131,739 5.7
Nevada 5,546 39,789 13.9
Texas 5,322 482,356 1.1
Florida 4,596 245,195 1.9
New Jersey 3,418 71,230 4.8
Massachusetts 3,331 22,247 15.0
Utah 2,609 39,189 6.7
New York 2,505 132,681 1.9

Again, because Texas is such a large energy producer, the overall percentage of solar power in its generation is relatively low – 1.1 percent. Compare that with California, which gets 21.4 percent of its energy from solar, and Massachusetts, which gets 15 percent.

Bottom line: Texas is a major solar factor when it comes to production, but generation in other areas dwarfs its position.

Arthur Murray is a veteran energy writer whose articles have appeared on Zillow.com, Business.com, Nasdaq.com, and USNews.com, among others. You may reach him at amurray@redventures.com.