US solar companies installed 3.8 GW of new photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the third quarter – a 9% increase from installs in the second quarter – as the industry moves away from the worst of the COVID impact, according to US Solar Market Insight Q4. 19 pandemic recovered The 2020 report was recently released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie.
The report predicts a record 19 GW of new solar capacity this year, up 43% year-over-year in 2019. Solar accounted for 43% of all new capacity expansions in the third quarter – more than any other power source.
“This report shows the incredible resilience of our companies and workers in the face of the pandemic and the continued demand for clean, affordable power sources,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO of SEIA. “It also speaks to our ability to support economic growth – even in our darkest moments. As solar continues to grow, the next government and convention will have the opportunity to help the solar industry achieve its Solar + Decade goals, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and weather the climate crisis. “
The residential solar market, which was hardest hit by the business impact of the pandemic, beat recovery expectations and grew 14% from the second quarter. However, it remained below the level of the first quarter. The utility market was the main driver of Q3 systems with 2.7 GW of new capacity, 70% of the solar capacity that went online in the third quarter.
The Sun Belt states are leading the way in new capacity expansion this year. Texas and Florida are both installing more than 2 GW by the third quarter – almost the amount of solar each of these states installed in 2018 and 2019 combined.
The supply-scale project pipeline rose to a record 69.2 GW. The US is expected to reach 100 GW of cumulative installed solar capacity by mid-2021.