Report: Fresno is No. 1 for industrial solar power in California

A new study released Wednesday ranks Fresno No.1 in California for industrial solar power installations.
A new study released Wednesday ranks Fresno No.1 in California for industrial solar power installations. Fresno Bee Staff Photo

Fresno is the state’s top region for industrial solar power, according to a report from a San Francisco nonprofit.

The amount of solar energy generated on Fresno-area warehouses and distribution centers – 11,132 kilowatts – is larger than the amount from equipment installed in the Silicon Valley and the greater Los Angeles areas combined, the 2016 California Green Innovation Index said.

Fresno’s solar capacity doesn’t stop there. The area also ranks fifth out of 26 metro areas for commercial solar, on retail centers and offices, and sixth for solar on homes.

“That’s very impressive and shows the adoption of solar out in the Fresno area, which is very important to the future of the state,” said Noel Perry, founder of Next 10, the organization that commissioned the index. Adam Fowler of Beacon Economics in Los Angeles wrote the study.

The report, released Wednesday, tracks economic and environmental trends at the regional, state, national and international levels. It found that the San Joaquin Valley and the Inland Empire are driving California’s solar power growth, which saw a 1,378 percent increase between 2009 and 2014.

Silicon Valley and San Francisco are known for clean-tech innovations and patents “so it’s important to really see other parts of the state really taking part in solar,” Perry said.

Riverside, San Bernardino and Ontario ranked No. 1 for commercial and residential solar power, the index said. Hanford and Corcoran made the list for leading the state in commercial and industrial solar capacity.

Perry was surprised to see Fresno and the San Bernardino County area at the top of the list this year, but said it shouldn’t be a shock “because solar is exploding all around California.”

“Out in Fresno and San Bernardino County, there’s a lot of sun … there’s new housing stock,” he said. “There’s a lot of roofs to put solar on.”

BoNhia Lee: 559-441-6495, @bonhialee