In the second quarter of 2017, a record-breaking 2.4 GW were added to the U.S. solar market’s overall capacity. This is an 8% increase over last year’s results and makes it the largest second quarter ever.
GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) have released the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, which features remarkable figures: with a total of 2,387 MW added to the U.S.’ overall PV capacity, the second quarter of 2017 is the most successful yet. The figures top Q1 (where 2,044 MW were added) and exceed last year’s results for the same period by 8%.
Growth noted in all market segments
The remarkable growth has been noted in all three of the U.S. solar market’s segments: commercial, residential and utility-scale. Among them, the non-residential market grew the most with 437 MW – which is 31% more than in 2016.
California, Massachussetts and New York are largest contributors
Three states have largely contributed to this growth. Convenient time-of-use rates in California, expiring incentives in Massachusetts and a unique quarter in New York, where a number of remote, net metered projects were finalized, were the main factors that resulted in the aforementioned figures. Texas outshone itself during its strongest quarter ever, adding 378 MW and coming in second. It is also the state which is expected to be the second largest solar market over the next five years. Meanwhile, other states, such as Arizona, Nevada, North Carolina, Minnesota and Mississippi saw outstanding additions as well.
U.S. continuously on road of success
Of the newly installed solar, more than half (58%) were installed in the utility-scale sector, which makes it the seventh quarter in a row with an addition of more than 1 GW of utility-scale PV capacity.
The only sector to experience a decline was the residential one, where only 53 MW were installed – 17% less than during the same period in 2016. Austin Perea, a GTM Research Solar Analyst, explained this: “Slowdown in residential solar is largely a function of national installers scaling back operations in major state markets as they prioritize profitability over growth.While California was the first major market to exhibit signs of slow-down in Q1, many major Northeast markets began to feel the impact of national installer pull-back in Q2 despite a stable policy environment and strong market fundamentals.”
Nonetheless, the report’s forecast for the near future of the U.S. solar sector continues to be golden: another 12.4 GW are predicted to be added over the rest of the year, and the American solar industry is still expected to triple its overall PV capacity throughout the next five years.