U.S. residential solar hits new heights with 232 MW installed in Q1
- The U.S. solar industry installed 1,330 megawatts of solar PV in Q1 2014, which was 76% of new electric generating capacity in the U.S. and an increase of 79% over Q1 2013, making it the 2nd biggest quarter ever for U.S. solar and bringing cumulative installed PV capacity to 13,395 megawatts in 482,000 systems.
- The 232 megawatts of residential PV capacity in Q1 2014 exceeded, for the first time, the commercial-industrial sector’s quarterly installed capacity of 225 megawatts, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association’s Q1 2014 U.S. Solar Market Insight report.
- The 520-plus megawatts of concentrating solar power (CSP) capacity installed in Q1 2014, up from 322 megawatts in Q1 2013, was the biggest quarter ever for the CSP sector.
Expect PV numbers to grow rapidly over the next 30 months as developers push to get as much solar built as they can before the investment tax credit drops from 30% to 10% on December 31, 2016.
The U.S. CSP sector added the 392-megawatt Ivanpah project and the Genesis Solar project’s second 125-megawatt unit during Q1 2014, putting it on track to reach a total of 857 megawatts for 2014, which would be its biggest year ever and bring CSP’s total installed capacity to 1,435 megawatts at year’s end.
The utility scale PV installed capacity grew by 873 megawatts in Q1 2014, a 171% increase over Q1 2013 and two-thirds of total PV installed in the period.
U.S. solar is now expected to add 6.6 gigawatts of PV in 2014, which would be a 39% increase over 2013.
PV installations at schools, government buildings, and nonprofit organizations surpassed 100 megawatts in Q1 2014 for the second straight quarter.