U.S. solar market extends growth in Q3

The U.S. solar industry continued to see solid growth in solar photovoltaics (PV) installations in the third quarter this year, a leading industry report revealed on Tuesday.

The American PV market installed 684 megawatts (MW) in the third quarter, representing an increase of 44 percent over the same period last year, according to a report released by the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

This quarter marked the third largest in history for the U.S. PV industry and raised the total installed capacity through the first three quarters of this year to 1,992 MW, eclipsing 2011’s annual total of 1,885 MW.

As of the third quarter, the total solar electricity capacity installed in the United States reached to 6,400 MW, enough to power more than one million households.

Specifically, the residential PV sector installed more than 118 MW in the third quarter, a record high for a quarter. The commercial market (including governmental and institutional facilities) advanced by 24 percent from the previous quarter to 257 MW.

More than 1,200 MW of PV is expected to be installed next quarter on the back of developers who are pushing to meet year-end deadlines in both the utility and commercial segments, the report said.

The U.S. solar energy industry currently has 119,000 employees at 5,600 companies, mostly small business.


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