Renewables, Solar

Study: 25 Percent of All Solar Connected to Grid in 2016

By Editors of Power Engineering

Solar generation continues to grow at a rapid pace, as a new study indicates more than a quarter of all existing grid-connected solar came online in 2016.

The Smart Electric Power Alliance’s latest Utility Solar Market Snapshot indicated developers added 9.4 GW of utility-scale solar to the United States last year, bringing the total to 33.4 GW.

Additionally, utility-scale solar continues to be the dominant form of solar generation, with utility-scale growing by 84 percent year over year. Residential grew at just 11 percent, with non-residential at 20 percent growth.

“What’s exciting about the survey is seeing the how solar is growing outside the traditional markets — like California, Hawaii and Arizona,” said SEPA Research Analyst Brenda Chew, who led this year’s survey.  “We now have thriving solar markets in the Southeast, and we’re seeing growth in states such as Utah and Arkansas — another sign that solar really is a competitive, mainstream power.”

The study was conducted by surveying 415 utilities, an increase of participation of 20 percent over the previous year.