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Published on January 16th, 2014 | by Joshua S Hill

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US Comes Out Top In Utility-Scale Solar For 2013



The solar industry is dominated by statistics showcasing the Asia-Pacific Region’s dominance, thanks primarily to China’s massive output and demand. However, according to statistics published by Wiki-Solar on Tuesday show that the US overtook China as the world leader in utility-scale solar capacity.

Utility-scale is just the industry’s shorthand for large solar projects that handle many more megawatts than the more community- and local-driven installations. As an example, some of the power projects which helped push the US to the top of the chart include three partly-completed First Solar projects — the Desert Sunlight project, currently running 470 MW out of an eventual 550 MW capacity; the Topaz Solar Farm which is running 237 MW out of 550 MW; and the Antelope Valley project, which is nearly complete with 230 MW out of an eventual 250 MW. Each of these projects connected energy to the grid in the late part of 2013, helping break the 5 GW barrier of installed capacity.

wikisolar

The United States’ remarkable track-record in utility-scale solar: In each of the last five years, the US has installed more GW of new plant than the cumulative capacity existing at the start of the year
Image Credit: Wiki-Solar.org

“We’ve known for some time that America’s pipeline of giga-scale projects would take it to the top of the table,” said Wiki-Solar’s Philip Wolfe. “Thanks to a further 12 GW still in development, it should stay there for some time; though China’s progress is also impressive – and they have a habit of springing new capacity on us with little warning.”

The latest figures from Wiki-Solar also include several 100+ projects which went fully-connected during 2013 — including First Solar’s 290 MW Agua Caliente, SunPower’s 250 MW California Valley for NRG Energy, Sempra’s 165 MW Mesquite I, Tenaska’s 130 MW Imperial South and GE’s 127 MW Arlington Valley.

The phenomenal development of the US solar industry through 2013 is evident in the figures from year-to-year: at the beginning of 2013 the US only had 2.2 GW of capacity installed, which as can be seen in the graph above, more than doubled over the following year.

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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, a liberal left-winger, and believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I work as Associate Editor for the Important Media Network and write for CleanTechnica and Planetsave. I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), Amazing Stories, the Stabley Times and Medium.   I love words with a passion, both creating them and reading them.



  • Matthew

    Watch on YouTube the story about how capitalist destroyed Tesla the man when he wanted to create free energy. Then you understand why the rich are telling you solar doesn’t work, at the same time they are building utility scale solar in the back yArd.

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