Residential solar set new US record in the last quarter with 712 MW

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From pv magazine USA.

The U.S. residential solar market hit record highs in the third quarter with 712 MW of PV rooftop capacity installed, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight report by the Solar Energy Industries Association and U.S.-owned analyst WoodMac Power & Renewables.

Key takeaways from the report include:
  • The U.S. installed 2.6 GWdc of solar in the third quarter, a 45% increase year-over-year;
  • The U.S. added a record 712 MW of residential solar capacity in the last quarter;
  • California added almost 300 MW of residential PV;
  • The contracted utility PV pipeline hit a record high of 45.5 GWdc; and
  • Total installed U.S. solar capacity will more than double over the next five years.

 

 

New growth drivers in California

Perennial solar leader California installed a record 300 MW of residential solar in the last quarter, although the “growth drivers have shifted”, according to Austin Perea, senior solar analyst for Wood Mackenzie. Perea suggested it is “new-build solar demand” and “consumer interest in solar-plus-storage solutions, as a result of public safety power shut-offs” which are driving the record growth.

According to WoodMac, policy reforms continued to hobble development in the key non-residential markets of California, Massachusetts and Minnesota. Positive policy developments in New York, Maryland, Maine and New Jersey, according to the report, could boost the non-residential space in the next few years.

The U.S. solar market added 2.6 GW of solar in the third quarter, raising national solar capacity to 71.3 GW. The increase in residential installations helped the U.S. market expand 45% year-over-year and contributed to 15 states having their best ever residential PV quarter.

Wood Mackenzie is sticking with its full-year U.S. solar forecast of 13 GW – for a 23% annual growth rate – even though the company has typically tended towards conservative estimates.