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GTM Forecasts US Community Solar Sector To Grow 5-Fold In 2015

New research from GTM Research forecasts that the US community solar sector is to reach a tipping point soon, growing five-fold in 2015 and regularly reaching 500 MW by 2020.

The forecast is central to GTM Research’s latest report, US Community Solar Outlook 2015-2020, which provides a comprehensive analysis of the US community solar sector. GTM Research explains that the report “defines and segments the market, forecasts installations in total and by state, outlines the legislature that is helping and hampering community solar, and provides a snapshot of today’s competitive landscape.”

Specifically, the report forecasts community solar to reach 115 MW installed in 2015, and by 2020 the energy analysts predict the community solar market will be installing 500 MW annually — an impressive growth trajectory for a sector which only installed a cumulative 66 MW through the end of 2014. Unsurprisingly then, “GTM Research has pegged [the community solar market] as the most significant solar growth market for the United States.”

Annual U.S. Community Solar Installations, 2010-2020E


Community solar has seen a huge up-tick not only in installations, but in the corresponding media attention it receives. School and public institutions across the US have reaped the rewards of cheap and publicly funded solar, but the opportunity for community solar is not simply restricted to the US, with several other countries jumping on the bandwagon.

Nevertheless, the US is definitely a hotspot for community solar, with 24 states with at least one community solar project currently online, and 20 states with or in the process of enacting community solar legislation. Unsurprisingly, however, 4 states — California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Minnesota — will drive the majority of community solar installations over the next two years and will serve as the core driver for demand.

“Looking ahead to 2020,” said Senior Solar Analyst Cory Honeyman, “the community solar opportunity is poised to become more geographically diversified, as developers ramp up service offerings to utilities in states without community solar legislation in place and as national rooftop solar companies enter the community solar scene.”

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