Analysis by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) shows an anemic first quarter with 13 completed projects totaling 213.3 MW -- a 79 percent drop from the 1,022 MW of new capacity added in Q1 2014.
Table 1: U.S. Utility Solar Market Growth, New and Cumulative Capacity (MW). Source: SNL, SEPA Research
Still, the low numbers more likely represent a bottoming out of the market, and they contain some noteworthy developments among the utility-scale projects of 5 MW or more SEPA tracks for its quarterly market analyses.
— Bucking the historical trend of developer-owned projects, six of the 13 projects
completed in Q1 are wholly owned by regulated utilities.
UTILITY-SCALE SOLAR STARTS 2015 WITH A WHIMPER, BUT REBOUND TO FOLLOW
By Ryan Edge - Research Analyst with SEPA
Image: Cooper Crossing Solar Power Plant, Arizona
ollowing 2014’s fourth quarter and its record-breaking 1,617 megawatts (MW) of new capacity, the U.S. utility-scale solar market started 2015 with a temporary nosedive -- but a healthy project pipeline that will likely drive a quick recovery.