US utility scale solar power market grew by 20 percent in 2018
Post date: 11/06/2019 - 21:10
The U.S. solar market is still growing and expanding to new emerging state markets – there were 7.3 GW utility scale solar power plants interconnected in 2018, marking a 20.1 percent increase in total capacity over 2017, according to Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)’s new report, the »2019 Utility Solar Market Snapshot«. (Note: Total installed PV capacity in 2018 was 10.6 GW, the Solar Energy Industries Association SEIA reported earlier this year.)
»The solar snapshot shows that the national market remains strong and competitive - despite minor cost impacts from the solar panel and steel tariffs of 2018,« said Mac Keller, co-lead author and Research Associate at SEPA. The market saw a geographical expansion beyond the traditional powerhouse markets (e.g., California and North Carolina), with Florida, Washington, and Rhode Island seeing year-over-year growth rates of 311.9 percent, 150.2 percent and 344.1 percent, respectively. 2018 was the largest year for corporate renewable procurements, with 75 companies procuring a total of 6.5 GW, compared to 50 companies and 4.5 GW added in 2016 and 2017 combined.
On the Top 10 Utility Solar Rankings by Annual Megawatts list, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) maintained the No. 1 spot this year with 630 MW interconnected, while Florida Power & Light was second with 626.8 MW and Southern California Edison ranked third with 440.7 MW. Duke Energy Progress (NC, 436.3 MW) and Northern States Power Minnesota (Xcel, MN, 269.4 (MW) are following at four and five.
Reedy Creek Improvement District, the municipal district serving and powering Walt Disney World in Florida, took the top spot on the Top 10 Utility Solar Rankings by Annual Watts-Per-Customer list, with 35,936.4 solar watts-per-customer (W/C). Texas based Georgetown Utility Systems (6,048 W/C) and Ohio based Village Electric Utility-Brewster (1,980 W/C) ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively. Dominion Energy North Carolina (NC, 1,768.2 W/C) and Bolivar Energy Authority in partnership with Tennessee Valley Authority (TN, 1,482 W/C) are ranking at four and five.
The »2019 Utility Solar Market Snapshot« is the first of three Snapshot reports based on data from SEPA’s 2018 Utility Survey. Upcoming reports will include the »2019 Utility Energy Storage Market Snapshot« and the »2019 Utility Demand Response Market Snapshot«.