The following article, written by Karen Henry, appeared September 8, 2014 on Energy Manager Today. Read below or view the contents on the Energy Manager Today website.
The United States’ solar market hit a major milestone in the second quarter of this year, with more than half a million homes and businesses now generating solar energy. According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) Q2 2014 US Solar Market Insight Report, the United States installed 1,133 MW of solar PV in the second quarter of this year.
Across the United States, cumulative PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) operating capacity has eclipsed 15.9 GW.
The residential and commercial segments accounted for nearly half of all solar PV installations in the quarter. As of the first half of 2014, more than half a million homeowners and commercial customers have installed solar PV. The residential market has seen the most consistent growth of any segment, and its momentum shows no signs of slowing down. For the first time ever, more than 100 MW of residential PV came online without any state incentive.
The utility PV segment made up 55 percent of US solar installations in the second quarter of the year. This is the fifth straight quarter in which this segment has accounted for more than half of national PV installations. The utility segment has quadrupled its cumulative size, growing from 1,784 MW in the first half of 2012 to 7,308 MW today.
GTM Research and SEIA forecast 6.5 GW of PV will be installed in the United States by the end of this year, up 36 percent over 2013.
The first quarter of 2014 was the largest quarter ever for CSP, due to the completion of the 392 MW Ivanpah project and Genesis Solar project’s second 125 MW phase. While Q2 2014 was dormant for CSP, a total of 857 MW is expected to be completed by year’s end, making 2014 the largest year ever for CSP.