The U.S. solar photovoltaics (PV) market installed 684 megawatts (MW) in the third quarter of 2012 - a 44% increase compared to the same period last year - according to new research.
The U.S. Solar Market Insight: Third Quarter 2012 report finds that Q3 of 2012 quarter marked the third largest on record for the U.S. PV industry and raised the total installed capacity through the first three quarters of the year to 1,992 MW — already surpassing 2011’s annual total of 1,885 MW.
The residential PV sector installed more than 118 MW in Q3, an all-time high for a quarter, while the commercial market (including governmental and institutional facilities) hit 257 MW, rising 24% above last quarter.
In addition to solid growth nationally, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania saw growth of 5 MW or greater compared to the previous quarter. The three states with the most new installations in the third quarter were California, Arizona and New Jersey.
Shayle Kann, vice president of research at GTM (the company behind the report), said: “While Q3 2012 was remarkable for the U.S. PV market, it is just the opening act for what we expect to see in Q4. We forecast more than 1.2 GW of PV 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.”
Today, the U.S. solar energy industry employs 119,000 Americans at 5,600 companies, across all 50 states. Altogether, there are now 5.9 gigawatts of PV operating in the U.S. from more than 271,000 installations. Combined with concentrating solar power facilities, there is more than 6.4 GW of solar electric capacity installed in the U.S., enough to power more than one million average American households.