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Supported by a record 477 MW of utility-scale installations, in the second quarter of 2012 the U.S. solar market grew by 45% over the first quarter and 116% over the second quarter last year, according to latest U.S. Solar Market Insight® Report. “U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2nd Quarter 2012” is a new report from the GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA®).
The report finds that U.S. solar achieved its second-best quarter in history, having installed 742 MW of solar power, and the best quarter on record for the utility market segment. Eight states posted utility installations of 10 MW or greater in the quarter: California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, New Mexico and New Jersey. In total, the U.S. now has 5,700 MW of installed solar capacity, enough to power more than 940,000 households.
According to the report, the utility photovoltaic (PV) market will remain strong through the last two quarters of 2012. With 3,400 MW of utility PV projects currently under construction, and weighted U.S. average system prices 10% lower than the previous quarter, GTM Research forecasts an additional 1.1 GW of utility PV to begin operating before year’s end. The report forecasts a total of 3,200 MW (3.2 GW) of PV will be installed in the U.S. in 2012, up 71% over 2011.
“The U.S. solar industry is rapidly growing and creating jobs across America despite the slow economic recovery,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. “More solar was installed in the U.S. this quarter than in all of 2009, led for the first time by record-setting utility-scale projects. With costs continuing to come down, solar is affordable today for more homes, businesses, utilities, and the military. Smart, consistent, long-term policy is driving the innovation and investment that’s making solar a larger share of our overall energy mix.”
For additional information, visit www.seia.org.