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U.S. Solar Power Sector Records Second-Best Quarter In History

September 13, 2012, 07:26 AM
Filed Under: Energy

Solar Industry reported the U.S. solar energy industry recorded its second-best quarter in history according to a new report released by the Solar Energy Industries Association based on data from GTM Research.

The report also found that the second quarter was the best quarter on record for utility installations, which totaled 477 MW, with eight states posting utility solar installations of 10 MW or greater: California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, New Mexico and New Jersey.

According to Solar Industry, the report also forecasts that the utility PV market will remain strong through the last two quarters of this year and by the end of this year, a total of 3.2 GW of PV will have been installed in the U.S.
this year, representing a 71% increase over last year’s total.

For the fourth consecutive quarter, the U.S. residential solar market grew incrementally, installing 98.2 MW. California, Arizona and New Jersey led residential installations nationally, with the smaller-market states of Hawaii, Massachusetts and Maryland demonstrating strong quarter-over-quarter growth.

The report also says the non-residential (e.g., commercial, government, nonprofit) segment contracted, falling from 291 MW in the first quarter to 196 MW in the second quarter. Although California (down 45%) and New Jersey (down 35%) contributed to a large part of the decline, these states were not alone: Only 10 of the 24 states the report tracks individually saw quarterly growth in the non-residential market in the second quarter. This trend was likely due to a combination of factors. In some individual markets, such as New Jersey, it was a result of state-market-specific factors, such as solar renewable energy credit oversupply. In other states, the first quarter had been bolstered by safe-harbored 1603 program installations.

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