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US Solar Adds 2.05 GW Of New Capacity In Second Quarter

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The United States’ solar industry has installed 2.051 GW of new solar PV capacity in the second quarter of 2016, growing 43% year-over-year, according to new figures published by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association.

In the new U.S. Solar Market Insight report published by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) this week, the most recent figures from the United States’ solar industry show that the second quarter solar PV capacity expansion figures grew 43% compared to the same quarter a year earlier, reaching 2,051 MW installed for the quarter.

This represents the eleventh consecutive quarter that more than a gigawatt of solar PV capacity was installed in the United States.

Annual U.S. Solar PV Installations, Q2 2010-Q2 2016


“We’re seeing the beginning of an unprecedented wave of growth that will occur throughout the remainder of 2016, specifically within the utility PV segment,” said Cory Honeyman, GTM Research associate director of US solar research. “With more than 10 gigawatts of utility PV currently under construction, the second half of this year and the first half of 2017 are on track to continue breaking records for solar capacity additions.”

The report revealed that utility-scale solar capacity installations accounted for 53% of all installed solar in the first half of 2016, and that an additional 7.8 GW is expected to come online by the time the year closes. In fact, GTM and the SEIA posit that more solar capacity is expected to come online in the second half of this year than has ever come online in a single year.

The residential solar PV market wasn’t to be outdone, however, reaching another major milestone with its one-millionth rooftop installation. And despite a minor slowdown in California, solar markets in Utah and Texas, to name two, have helped pick up the slack, with residential solar PV installations growing by 1% over the first quarter of 2016, and 29% over the same quarter a year earlier.

“Solar works in all 50 states and this report proves that what many would consider non-traditional markets are now firmly a part of the clean energy movement,” said Tom Kimbis, SEIA’s interim president. “While it took us 40 years to hit 1 million U.S. solar installations, we’re expected to hit 2 million within the next two years. That record-breaking growth is made possible by solar’s cost-competitiveness and the vast benefits it provides consumers, our nation’s economy and environment.”

Though California’s residential solar PV market may have slowed somewhat, its non-residential solar market exceeded expectations, representing 50% of the segment’s country-wide installations.

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