Utilities across the United States are adding more solar onto their portfolios. By the end of 2014, the U.S. have accumulated over 16,000 megawatts of solar interconnected to the grid. Solar market expansion is driven by several factors: policy support for renewable resources, the level of retails rates, the availability of incentives and the strength of the solar resource, among others. (See SEPA's Utility Solar Market Snapshot 2014 for details.)
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The 2014 marked the second year in a row where utility-scale solar generation outpaced the distributed solar market. Utility-scale solar added over 3,300 megawatts even though it only accounted for 0.05% of all installations in 2014. The business model for distributed solar continues its shift from customer-owned installations to third-party leases and PPAs now dominating the sector.
See which utilities contributed to this trend in the Utility Solar Database.
Large-scale solar plants have been announced for states in regions with newly emerging solar markets including the Midwest and Southeast. According to SEPA's 2014 research 52 responding utilities representing 21 states reported they were approaching solar as the least-cost resource for their integrated resource planning. Log on to check out a list of your utilities current and planned solar projects.