The United States just broke its PV installation record again. Driven by the utility-scale sector there have been 4,143 MW installed. According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s Q4 2016 U.S. Solar Market Insight report there have been nearly 4,2 GW of PV installed in the third quarter of the year. This means a rate of one MW every 32 minutes. The final results for last quarter of 2016 are expected to be even higher. By the end of 2016, GTM Research forecasts the U.S. to install 14.1 GW in total.
Utility scale: The report points out that the utility-scale segment is the key driver of the growth. This segment represents 77 % of the PV installed in Q3. Additional 4.8 GW are expected for Q4.
Non-residential: The non-residential segment posted its second largest quarter ever. With 375 MW installed, the segment grew 15 % over the second quarter of the year and 37 % annually. Part of this growth is attributed to a community solar pipeline that is finally beginning to materialize, a segment that accounted for a record 20% of the non-residential PV market in Q3 2016.
Residential: The sixth time in a row there have been more than half a GW of residential PV installed; however, the segment is experiencing a slowdown from its peak growth quarters. The segment grew just 2 % year-over-year and actually fell 10 % from last quarter’s total.
“Coming off our largest quarter ever and with an extremely impressive pipeline ahead, it’s safe to say the state of the solar industry here in America is strong,” said Tom Kimbis, SEIA’s interim president. “The solar market now enjoys an economically-winning hand that pays off both financially and environmentally, and American taxpayers have noticed. With a 90 % favorability rating and 209,000 plus jobs, the U.S. solar industry has proven that when you combine smart policies with smart 21st century technology, consumers and businesses both benefit.”
Source: Sun&Wind Energy (Dec 14, 2016)