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US Sees Second-Largest Solar Installation Growth In Q3

The United States installed 1,354 MW of solar PV in the third quarter of 2014, up 41% over the same period a year earlier, and the making it the second-largest quarter of all time for the US solar industry, bringing the country’s cumulative solar PV capacity up to 16.1 GW.

These numbers come courtesy of GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association in the latest US Solar Market Insight Report, released today. The report also found that, through the first three quarters of 2014, solar PV represented 36% of new capacity to come online, an increase of 29% in 2013 and 9.6% in 2012.

solar new generating capacity

“Solar’s continued, impressive growth is due, in large part, to smart and effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS),” said Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO. “By any measurement, these policies are paying huge dividends for America. Every three minutes of every single day, the U.S. solar industry is flipping the switch on another completed solar project, benefitting both our economy and the environment.”

US PV Installations, Q1’2010 – ‘Q3’2014


As seen in the graph above, the US utility-scale market segment has regularly and consistently represented the greater-share of installation capacity per quarter. In the third quarter of 2014, the US installed 825 MW worth of utility-scale projects, up from 540 MW a year earlier, and represents the sixth straight quarter in which utility-scale PV accounted for more than 50% of the national total.

The US residential segment, however, has also been growing steadily (if slowly) over the past couple of years, and this past quarter exceeded 300 MW for the first time — with more than half coming online without any state incentives to help it along.


Residential is now the most reliable market segment, growing 18 out of the last 19 quarters.

“Residential solar has become a remarkably consistent, growing market,” said Shayle Kann, Senior Vice President at GTM Research. “By the end of this year there will be more than 600,000 homes outfitted with solar, and we see no signs of a slowdown next year. By 2017, we expect the residential sector to be the largest in the U.S. solar market.”

Also see Zach’s coverage of US solar price trends noted in the report and the current solar PV pipeline and growth forecast out to 2016.

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