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Solar Was 64% of New Generating Capacity in First Quarter

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Solar continues to grow at a record pace.

Last week, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research released the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, which sheds light on major solar developments in the first quarter of 2016.  

According to the analysis, the U.S. installed 1,665 megawatts (MW) of solar power in Q1 2016, an impressive 24 percent increase over Q1 2015 and nearly two-thirds of all new electric generating capacity. 

Among some of the report’s other key findings:

  • In Q1 2016, cumulative U.S. solar installations topped one million, representing 27.5 gigawatts (GW) in operating capacity – enough energy to power the entire state of Pennsylvania.

  • Residential installations remained relatively flat due to seasonal factors, but still added more than half a GW for the fourth consecutive quarter.

  • For the first time ever, non-residential solar installations topped 300 MW in consecutive quarters and were 36 percent higher than Q1 2015. More than 57,000 businesses and non-profit organizations now have installed solar systems.

There are a number of signs pointing towards continued solar growth. GTM Research estimates that 14.5 GW of solar will come online this year, a 94 percent increase over 2015. Additionally, last week the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) released its Long-Term System Assessment, which projects that solar will largely replace coal in Texas by 2031. However, outside of the U.S., some global estimates are less optimistic. 

For businesses looking to join the growing solar trend, Direct Energy Business offers a number of beneficial and creative commercial solar options. Last summer, we unveiled a groundbreaking 1.2 megawatt rooftop solar project with H-E-B and SolarCity in Weslaco, Texas. More recently, we announced an innovative 13.6 megawatt remote solar project with Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and a new plan to install solar power systems at Whole Foods Market locations throughout the United States.   

Learn how solar power can potentially benefit your business.

Posted: June 13, 2016