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California Sets Quarterly Record for Solar PV in Q2’13, US Adds 976 MW

The U.S. added 976 megawatts (MW) of new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity during the second quarter of 2013 (Q2’13), up 24 percent Q/Q from 788 MW in Q1’13, according to the latest NPD Solarbuzz North America PV Markets Quarterly report.

In Q2’13, new PV installed in California alone reached 521 MW, which is a new record for PV added by any state in the U.S. for a three-month period and 53 percent of PV added in the U.S. California has added 1.6 GW in the past 12 months, with a further 1.1 GW forecast for the second half of the year, according to the report.

During Q2’13, 72 percent of solar PV installations were ground mounted, with the remaining 28 percent from residential and commercial rooftops. Utility-based PV projects accounted for 59 percent of quarterly demand, with the remaining 41% split between commercial and residential installations.

Strong demand continues to come from the ground-mount utility segment. PG&E has recently completed several large-scale projects within California, including the California Valley Solar Ranch, phase three of Topaz Solar, phase two of Antelope Valley Solar Ranch, and Gates Solar Farm. Other large ground-mount projects include the Arizona Public Service Agua Caliente plant and phase one of PG&E’s Copper Mountain Solar 2 in Arizona.

Solar PV demand in the US is forecast to grow 14 percent Q/Q to 1.04 GW in Q3’13. During 2H’13, Arizona and North Carolina together will add 400 MW and an additional 500 MW will come from New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Texas.

Outside California, Arizona, New Jersey, and other established U.S. state markets, new solar PV markets are developing. In particular, North Carolina is forecast to grow by 80 percent Y/Y in 2013 to reach 285 MW, with further growth of 30 percent in 2014. As the leading project developer in the state, Strata Solar completed almost 100 MW of projects during the twelve-month period ending in June 2013.

Between Q3’12 and Q2’13, First Solar continued to lead module suppliers to the U.S. market, with a market share of 22 percent, followed by SunPower at 12 percent. Leading tier-one Chinese suppliers Yingli Green Energy, Trina Solar, Canadian Solar, and Suntech filled the next four ranking positions and collectively supplied 27 percent of U.S. market demand.

Figure 1: 976 MW of New Solar PV Capacity in Q2’13

Source: NPD Solarbuzz North America PV Markets Quarterly report

U.S. PV demand for 2013 is forecast to increase 17 percent Y/Y to reach 4.22 GW. NPD Solarbuzz expects 2014 PV demand to exceed 5.3 GW. Further growth over the next five years will result in the US having 20 percent of global PV demand.

Confirming the strong PV growth potential of the U.S. market, the pipeline of commercial and utility projects now exceeds 44 GW. This pipeline includes more than 2,300 projects of 50 kW and higher, with commercial applications accounting for more than half of the total.

This article was originally published on Solarbuzz and was republished with permission.

Read more solar energy news here.

Lead image: United States map via Shutterstock

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