The U.S. solar market spiked in Q2 2012, more than doubling Q2 2011 market size, the Solar Energy Industries Assoc. reported at last week's Solar Power Intl. show in Orlando.
Supported by a record 477 MW of utility-scale installations, the U.S. solar market in Q2 2012 grew by 45% over Q1 2012 and 116% over Q2 2011, according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report. The report finds that U.S. solar achieved its second-best quarter in history, having installed 742 MW of solar power, and the best quarter on record for the utility-scale market segment.
The U.S. now has 5,700 MW of installed solar capacity, the equiv. of powering 940,000 homes.
The report forecasts a total of 3,200 MW, or 3.2 gigawatts, of PV will be installed in the U.S. in 2012, up 71% over 2011.
The report was the trophy piece of the SEIA's press conference that kicked off the event, and a major announcement at the show, which took place Sept. 11 through 13 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.
The U.S. solar industry is rapidly growing and creating jobs across America despite the slow economic recovery," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. " Today, the U.S. solar industry employs more than 100,000 Americans at 5, 600 (mostly small) businesses across all 50 states.
Shayle Kann, VP of research at GTM Research added, "The success of third-party ... solar providers has attracted more than $600 million in new investments in recent months. ... the growing acceptance of solar leases and power purchase agreements."
Additional related announcements: Cogentrix's 30-MW-ac CPV Alamosa Solar came online.
Two CSP projects, the 100-MW Quartzsite Project and the 100-MW Moapa Solar Energy Center were expedited under President Obama's "We Can't Wait" initiative.
At Q2's end, an accumulative 546 MW of concentrating solar capacity was operating in the U.S.
The Solar Energy Industries Assoc. is the national trade association of the U.S. solar enregy industry.