It wasn't too many years ago when the installing more than 1 gigawatt (GW) of solar PV in the U.S. in one year was a pipedream. But according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, in 2011 the industry didn't just eek out more than 1 GW of solar: it blew that threshold away.

2011 Q4 U.S. Solar Market Insight Key Report Findings: PV installations grew 109% in 2011 to reach 1,855 MW, which represents 7.0% of all PV globally, up from 887 MW and 5.0% of global installations in 2010. Cumulative PV capacity operating in the U.S. now stands at 3,954 MW. There were 28 individual PV projects over 10 MW completed in 2011, up from only two in 2009. Eight states installed over 50 MW each in 2011. Installation totals in 2011 increased in 18 of the 23 states covered in detail. Weighted average PV system prices fell 20% in 2011 as a combined result of lower component prices, improved installation efficiency, and a shift toward larger systems. There were over 61,000 individual PV systems installed in the U.S. in 2011, bringing the total number of operating systems in the U.S. to more than 214,000.