U.S.’s annual solar PV installation hit 7,286MW, representing a 17% growth from 2014, according to a report announced by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research.
The report shows that, in 2015, new solar installation has beaten out natural gas capacity additions for the first time, while solar supplying 29.5% of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. in 2015.
The leading markets of solar in the U.S. are: California, North Carolina, Nevada, Massachusetts and New York. 13 U.S. states installed more than 100MW of solar PV systems during 2015, yet the cumulative installation capacity in the top-10 states accounts for 87% of nationwide installation. States that made major solar strides include Utah, which jumped in ranking from 23rd to 7th place, and Georgia which moved from 16th to 8th in the nation.
Utility-scale solar PV has a record year with more than 4GW installed, up 6% from 2014. Residential grew the fastest among all sectors by 66% over 2014, installing over 2GW nationwide. The demand from residential sector represents 29% of U.S.’s total installations, the highest ratio since 2009. In contrast, non-residential solar installed only slightly higher than 1GW. The non-residential market remained roughly flat for the third year in a row.
In addition to solar PV, CSP sector had a new addition in late 2015 – SolarReserve completed construction of the Crescent Dunes project and has connected it to the grid.
The cumulative solar PV installation in the U.S. has reached 25GW by the end of 25GW, 12 times over 2GW by 2010. On the other hand, the 7.3GW solar PV installations in the year was 8.6 times the capacity installed in 2010.