U.S. Solar More that Doubles in Q3

U.S. developers added 449.2 megawatts of solar power in the third quarter. That’s up 140 percent from the 187.3 megawatts in the same quarter last year, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight report by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research, Bloomberg reports.

That also means more solar panels were installed in the third quarter of 2011 than in all of 2009.

The largest market segment driving solar power was utility-scale projects, which made up more than 200 megawatts. Shayle Kann, GTM’s managing director of solar analysis, told Bloomberg that momentum is expected to continue into the fourth quarter as power plants begin construction and producing power.  He estimated the U.S. will install about 1.7 gigawatts of solar power in 2011, up from 887 megawatts last year and 435 megawatts in 2009.

Residential projects are also on the rise – up 21 percent from a year ago. That growth is led by rooftop projects in the state of California.

Non-residential solar installations, including commercial and government projects, fell 24 percent, Bloomberg says.

In addition, SEIA told Bloomberg solar installations may slow down next year if the Treasury Department’s 1603 program, which provides cash grants equal to as much as 30 percent of projects’ costs, is not extended.

To read the full article by Bloomberg cited in this story, click here

Tags: Fundings , Solar

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