Southern California Edison is leading the way as utilities become the solar industry’s largest customers, according to a report Wednesday by the Solar Electric Power Association, whose members include solar tech companies and more than 300 utilities.
The utility is ahead of its counterparts in both overall solar energy capacity per megawatt and per customer, the study found (PDF). Further north, Pacific Gas & Electric is in front in terms of overall solar capacity and megawatts per customer.
The nonprofit solar association compiled the rankings from data collected from 50 utilities this spring. It projected growth in U.S. solar electricity, particularly photovoltaics, to expand to 600 megawatts in 2012 from 150 megawatts last year.
Southern California Edison came out on top largely due to its interest in large, concentrating solar thermal projects, such as a 245 megawatt agreement with eSolar. And it’s working to build 250 megawatts of solar panels across 65 million square feet of rooftops.