Strong utility market drives Q2 spike in U.S. solar market
The U.S. solar market continues to grow at a record pace. According to a Solar Energy Industry Association report released this week, solar installations during the second quarter of 2012 spiked to 743 megawatts--more than double the wattage installed in the second quarter of 2011.
Most of the growth came from from the utility sector. Over 20 large solar plants in key states like Arizona and California came online during Q2, adding 477 megawatts in the quarter.
The report's authors call U.S. solar installations a "rare bright spot" in an otherwise gloomy solar business. Led by the massive scale-up of Chinese manufacturers, solar panel prices have plunged and few producers are operating at a profit.
Average sales prices for solar panels slid to 87 cents per watt during the quarter, 44 percent below the previous year's $1.56 per watt.
Photo via IRES Solar