Solar photovoltaic energy installations up 17 percent in 2Q 2011

A report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research said the U.S. installed 314 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in 2Q 2011. That is 69 percent more than the same time last year and 17 percent more than in 1Q 2011.

The “U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2nd Quarter 2011” report said the U.S. is on track to install 1,750 MW of PV in 2011, double last year’s total.

“The potential expiration of the 1603 Treasury program, along with current malaise in major markets such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, threatens to slow growth in 2012,” said Shayle Kann, Managing Director of Solar at GTM Research. “Still, with increasing market diversity and the continued emergence of the utility-scale solar market, we anticipate that the U.S. market share of global installations will triple over the next four years.”

The utility market segment increased 37 percent and the commercial market grew 22 percent in the quarter. Residential PV saw a 5.7 percent drop in the second quarter, with 60 MW.

Concentrating solar and concentrating PV technologies have more than 600 MW under construction in the U.S., bringing the total pipeline to more than 7,000 MW. Of that, more than 4,000 MW have signed power purchase agreements with utilities.

The report said that New Jersey surpassed California’s commercial solar market and six states installed more than 10 MW each in 2Q 2011, compared to three states in all of 2007.

Module production in the U.S. fell 11 percent in 2Q to 333 MW due to a slowdown in global demand.

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