Utility-scale solar has grown rapidly over the past five years

5 May 2017   Solar

Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory Republished May 4, 2017, 4:30 p.m. to clarify that utility-scale solar plants make up 2% of electricity generating capacity, not 2% of utility-scale electricity generation. Utility-scale solar installations—including both photovoltaic (PV) and thermal technologies—grew at an average rate of 72% per year between 2010 and 2016, faster than any other generating technologies. Utility-scale solar (plants with a capacity of at least one megawatt) now makes up about 2% of all utility-scale electric generating capacity and 0.9% of utility-scale generation. The first utility-scale solar plants were installed in the mid-1980s, but more than half of the currently operating utility-scale solar capacity came online in the past two years. As of December 2016, more than 21.5 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale solar generating capacity was in operation across the United States, with more than 7.6 GW of that capacity coming online in […]

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