U.S. solar sector sees best quarter ever
While politicians railed against solar power in the wake of the collapse of solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, the Solar Energy Industries Association announced recently that the industry had seen its greatest quarter ever.
In its latest quarterly report, the SEIA and GreentechMedia Research report that the U.S. added a stunning 449.2 megawatts of photovoltaic solar installations, including residential, commercial and utility-scale installations.
That represents more than 51 percent of the total added capacity through all of last year and a 325 percent increase from the third quarter of 2010.
"The U.S. solar industry is on a roll, with unprecedented growth in 2011," Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA, said in a statement. "Solar is now an economic force in dozens of states, creating jobs across America."
Residential solar installations grew from the first two quarters of year, but utility-scale installation accounted for the majority of new capacity marking by far the best quarter for these larger projects. The integration of these new large-scale solar developments into the grid should offer more Americans the opportunity to purchase renewable electricity from their utility companies and alternate electricity providers.