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US Solar PV Industry Installs Record 7.3 GW In 2015

The US solar PV industry installed a record 7,286 MW of solar PV in 2015, according to new figures published by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association.

The new figures were released today by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) ahead of their scheduled US Solar Market Insight report, which is due out March 9. Maybe most importantly, for the first time ever, solar beat out natural gas capacity additions in 2015, with solar supplying a total of 29.5% of all new electric generating capacity in the US during 2015.

US Solar PV Installations, 2000-2015 


“Without a doubt, 2015 was a monumental year for the US solar industry, and perhaps what’s most amazing is that we’re only getting started,” said SEIA president and CEO Rhone Resch. “Over the next few years, we’re going to see solar continue to reach unprecedented heights as our nation makes a shift toward a carbon-free source of energy that also serves as an economic, job-creating engine.”

The residential solar market eclipsed expectations, growing 66% year over year, and for the first time ever surpassed 2 GW. The residential solar segment now represents 29% of the entire US solar market, its largest market share since 2009. This is also the fourth year in a row the country’s non-residential sector broke the 1 GW mark, though remaining roughly flat year over year. The utility-solar sector grew 6% year over year and represented more than half of all solar PV installations in 2015, maintaining its position as the country’s mainstay solar sector.

Share of US PV Installations by Segment, 2000-2015 


All up, cumulative US solar PV installations have now passed 25 GW, up from only 2 GW in 2010.

“The US solar market remains concentrated in key states, with the top ten states accounting for 87% of installed capacity in 2015,” said Shayle Kann, Senior Vice President of GTM Research. “But growth has been widespread, and 24 of the 35 states that we track individually saw market growth in 2015.”

Unsurprisingly, as it has been for some time now, the US solar market was led by California, North Carolina, Nevada, Massachusetts, and New York. The market is also diversifying, with 13 states installing more than 100 MW each in 2015, with Utah stepping up from 23rd to 7th place, and Georgia moving from 16th to 8th.

Ranking States by Annual PV Installations 



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