SALT LAKE CITY — Last year, 760 megawatts of new solar helped power up the energy grid in Utah, thrusting Rocky Mountain Power to the No. 3 spot in the country for the amount of added solar connections.
The No. 3 ranking comes from the Smart Electric Power Alliance in its annual survey of 412 utilities across the country.
Rocky Mountain Power was also ranked sixth in the nation in watts per customer with 846 watts.
Awards are given in four categories: top 10 utilities for most new solar megawatts and most new watts per customer; and top 10 utilities for most new storage megawatts and most watts per customer.
“One of the reasons we started the Utility Solar Top 10 lists back in 2007 was to highlight the key but often unrecognized role utilities were taking in putting new solar on the grid,” said Julia Hamm, Smart Electric Power Alliance president and CEO.
“At this pivotal moment in the U.S. energy transition, the industry leaders on this year’s top 10 lists — such as Rocky Mountain Power — will continue to be critical to the growth of solar, storage and other distributed energy resources on the grid,” Hamm said.2 comments on this story
In this year's rankings, Southern California Edison took the top spot in new solar growth, adding 1,648 megawatts. Rocky Mountain Power beat out another California utility, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (732 megawatts), and Georgia Power, which came in at No. 5 with 553 megawatts of new solar power.
For Utah, the nonprofit alliance counted utility-scale projects that came online generating solar power, including the Utah Red Hills Renewable Park in Parowan — the state's largest photovoltaic solar park — and the Pavant solar project in Millard County.
Those projects were privately funded, but Rocky Mountain Power purchases the power through 20-year contracts. The Red Hills project generates enough energy to power 18,000 homes.