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Comparison of Solar Power Potential by State

Based on the sun index level, Nebraska is ranked thirteenth among the states with the greatest energy potential from solar power, according to a sun index developed for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) using data provided by NREL's Renewable Resource Data Center.

The sun index is defined as an index of the amount of direct sunlight received in each state and accounts for latitude and cloud cover. California is indexed at 1.0. The amount of direct sunlight was derived from numbers provided by the Renewable Resource Data Center. The sun index was calculated as the average number of hours of peak direct sunlight hours per year from 1960 to 1990.

Solar Power Potential Ranked by State
2006

(Highest to Lowest Rank)

Rank State Sun Index
1 Nevada 1.19
2 Arizona 1.18
3 New Mexico 1.16
4 California 1.00
5 Colorado 0.99
6 Texas 0.98
6 Oklahoma 0.98
7 Wyoming 0.96
8 Florida 0.95
8 Kansas 0.95
8 Utah 0.95
9 Idaho 0.93
10 Mississippi 0.92
10 Georgia 0.92
10 South Carolina 0.92
11 Arkansas 0.91
12 Louisiana 0.90
12 North Carolina 0.90
13 Alabama 0.89
13 Nebraska 0.89
14 Iowa 0.87
14 Virginia 0.87
14 South Dakota 0.87
14 Missouri 0.87
15 Montana 0.86
16 Tennessee 0.85
17 Maine 0.84
17 Maryland 0.84
17 Delaware 0.84
17 Minnesota 0.84
17 North Dakota 0.84
18 Massachusetts 0.83
18 New Hampshire 0.83
18 New York 0.83
18 Pennsylvania 0.83
18 Indiana 0.83
18 Kentucky 0.83
19 Rhode Island 0.82
20 New Jersey 0.81
20 Wisconsin 0.81
21 Connecticut 0.79
21 Illinois 0.79
21 West Virginia 0.79
22 Vermont 0.77
22 Michigan 0.77
23 Ohio 0.74
24 Oregon 0.71
25 Washington 0.67

Sources: “Massachusetts Surprising Candidate for Solar Power Leadership”. Topline Strategy Group, Newton, Massachusetts. Nebraska Energy Office, Lincoln, NE.

This table was updated on March 11, 2010.