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San Diego ranks high for solar power

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego ranks second among large U.S. cities in the amount of installed solar energy capacity and fourth on a per-capita basis, according to a report released Thursday by a clean energy advocacy group.

"Solar power is booming across the country and cities are at the forefront," said Michelle Kinman of Environment California, which generated the report. "As one of the top ranking cities, San Diego is leading the way."

San Diego's 107 megawatts of total solar capacity at the end of last year ranked only behind Los Angeles, which had 132 megawatts.

The top six cities were from the Sun Belt, followed by Indianapolis and New York.

On a per-capita basis, the leaders before San Diego were Honolulu, San Jose and Wilmington, Del., according to the report.

At a news conference, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the city has been aggressively pushing forward on solar-energy initiatives for years and hopes to expand on those efforts in the future.

"As a pollution-free energy source with no fuel costs, solar energy can help us to meet many of our city's environmental and economic goals," Faulconer said. "It makes perfect sense for San Diego, one of the sunniest cities in the country, to lead the way in solar energy."

The report, the first of its kind from Environment California, said the top 20 cities have more solar power than was installed in the entire U.S. just six years ago.

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