US solar market shatters quarterly installation records

2MW of solar panels were installed every hour during the third quarter of 2016—according to the latest GTM Research/SEIA US Solar market report.

The latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) states 4,143 megawatts of solar PV was installed during the third quarter of the year—a rate of one MW every 32 minutes—and the pace has picked up even more during this quarter.

“Coming off our largest quarter ever and with an extremely impressive pipeline ahead, it’s safe to say the state of the solar industry here in America is strong,” said Tom Kimbis, SEIA’s interim president.

“The solar market now enjoys an economically-winning hand that pays off both financially and environmentally, and American taxpayers have noticed. With a 90 percent favorability rating and 209,000 plus jobs, the U.S. solar industry has proven that when you combine smart policies with smart 21st-century technology, consumers, and businesses both benefit,” Tom continued

The report points to an “unprecedented rate of project completion” in the utility-scale segment as a key growth driver.

In fact, the utility-scale segment represented 77 percent of solar PV installed in the third quarter of the year.

GTM Research anticipates that a massive 4.8 gigawatts (GW) of utility PV projects will come on-line in the fourth quarter of the year – that’s more than was installed across the entire utility PV segment in all of 2015.

“Driven by a large pipeline of utility PV projects initially procured under the assumption of a 2016 federal ITC expiration, the third quarter of 2016 represents the first phase of this massive wave of project completion – a trend that will continue well into the first half of 2017,” said Cory Honeyman, associate director of U.S. solar at GTM Research.

It’s important to note that the residential segment was down 19% from Q2 2016, it was up 2% from Q3 2015.

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