So far, 2012 is turning out to be a very good year for solar power in the U.S. According to a new report just released by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association, 742 megawatts of new solar power came online in the 2nd quarter of 2012. This is up from 512 megawatts in the 1st quarter and represents a more than doubling of the amount of solar power installed in the 2nd quarter of 2011. In fact, the 742 megawatts of new solar just installed is more than the amount of solar power installed in all of 2009.
Leading the charge was the completion of more than 20 large solar power plants in several states like Arizona and California. But that wasn’t the sole reason. While new plants from utilities accounted for 477 of the 742 megawatts, commercial and residential installations accounted for 295 megawatts. California installed the most (217 megawatts) with Arizona installations coming in second with 173 megawatts. One interesting note about the residential portion – third party ownership models like leasing accounted for 70 percent of the new residential installations. According to Shayle Kann, vice president of research at GRM, “In markets where third-party ownership is an option, it quickly becomes the preferred option.”
The chart below does a nice job of showing off the numbers.
via: Mercury Newssolar energy in U.S., solar energy in US, increasing solar power, us solar