US: Installations rise but dominated by California

Accounting for almost one gigawatt (GW) of installed capacity in 2011, California remains the photovoltaic powerhouse, generating more solar power than the next six states on the U.S. photovoltaic ranking.

IHS iSuppli has forecast the year’s installed capacity in California to reach 975 megawatt (MW), followed by New Jersey with 250 MW, Arizona with 240 MW, then New Mexico and Nevada. California is also expected to continue that growth in 2012 with 1.2 GW forecast.

In total, IHS iSuppli forecasts installations for 2011 to have increased 166 percent, from 2010 levels.

Instrumental to this growth has been the innovative models used to deliver photovoltaics in a tough economic environment. "California continues to be instrumental for the U.S. solar industry, as so many of the technological innovations and models to integrate solar are developed here," said Markus Elsasser, CEO of Solar Promotion International.

With photovoltaics growth and a healthy pipline, which accounts for 61 percent of the nation’s total, California is also seen as a good place to locate photovoltaic businesses. "California’s representation in the U.S. solar market reached 45 percent this year, up from 38 percent in 2010. With so much activity and growth, the state is ripe with opportunities for sales and strategic partnerships," said Troy Dalbey, Managing Director of North America for Upsolar.