Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Solar For 4 Million Homes In Pipeline

More than 24,000 megawatts of solar power at 1,865 non-residential projects is in the USA development pipeline, according to This development pipeline jumped another 7,000 megawatts from 17,000 megawatts in the last 3 months. These are amazing numbers that portend the next big shock to the energy business.

The 24,000 megawatts of non-residential projects would be enough power for about 4 million homes. The number does not include residential solar systems that are being deployed so understates the amount of solar capacity in development or construction.

Why the sharp increase in large solar projects this summer? No new government program explains the growing market.

Instead sharply falling prices this year have triggered large demand increases. Solarbuzz reports that 20% of the 1,865 solar projects it tracks have costs at or below $3.75 per watt or $3.75 million per megawatt.

California has 61% of the projects in the pipeline. Its dominance is explained by great sunshine, high electricity rates, and supportive state policies.

After California come Arizona, Nevada, and Texas with the most projects. Arizona has 8%; Nevada 7%; and Texas 5% of the pipeline.

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