Where in the Country Does a Solar Energy System Work Best?
Solar energy systems produce plentiful, free power anywhere and anytime the sun is
As a whole, the United States has strong solar potential. That’s why homeowners and
businesses throughout the country can harness the sun’s power to slash their energy
Even though photovoltaic power systems can produce electricity and save money in
every state, some states have better resources than others.
Is your state among the most solar-friendly in the U.S.?
Are Naturally Sunny States Better for Solar Energy Systems?
Areas with more solar energy available during the day, known as peak sun hours, are
well-suited for photovoltaic power systems. More daily sunlight means more time to
The southwest is the sunniest region of the country. According to data from the National
Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, California and
New Mexico get more sun than most other states.
To see how the rest of the country compares, check out the NREL’s photovoltaic solar
However, the number of peak sun hours your state receives is not the only — or best —
determinant of viability.
States Incentives for Using Solar Energy
The federal solar tax credit, offering a net 30 percent income tax credit on photovoltaic
power installations, is available for homeowners and businesses in every state. But
state-level financial incentives for adopting photovoltaic energy vary widely.
In some states, rebates, tax credits and grants are quite generous. In others, less so.
But even if your state doesn’t offer a generous incentive, net solar installation costs are
surprisingly comparable. Economists theorize that price points adjust across the country
to normalize the average cost. In other words, net costs for PV energy adoption are
remarkably similar from state to state, no matter what the local incentives are.
To see the financial incentives available in your area, visit the Database of State
Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE). DSIRE maintains a current and
comprehensive listing of available solar incentives for homeowners and businesses in
Why Every State Is Solar-Friendly
So, what if your home or business is in a state that only gets a few peak hours of
sunlight each day? Or maybe your state doesn’t offer as many financial incentives for
PV energy systems as others. Is that a reason to reject photovoltaic energy?
States in higher latitudes may get fewer peak sun hours overall; however, the average
ambient temperature is correspondingly cooler. Because photovoltaic panels work more
efficiently in cooler temperatures, the net production of solar power varies very little.
In fact, some of the highest solar-producing states in the country are New York,
Connecticut and Pennsylvania, none of which would ever be considered a sun-rich state.
And as power demands are generally lower in higher latitudes, it all balances out.
At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we provide both residential and commercial photovoltaic
systems to customers throughout the Intermountain West. We can assist you in finding
the incentives and financing options that can make photovoltaic energy work for you.
Contact us today to learn how you can dramatically lower your electricity bills with solar