November 27, 2018 Read More →

U.S. solar development pipeline grows sharply in third quarter

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):

The U.S. solar project pipeline expanded to more than 33,000 MW during the third quarter of 2018, with the 20.9% quarter-over-quarter increase coming from projects slated to come online in 2019 and 2020.

Companies added 5,864 MW of projects to the development pipeline in the third quarter, according to an analysis conducted by S&P Global Market Intelligence. That boosted the total capacity under development to 33,912 MW, compared to the 28,000-MW pipeline the domestic industry saw in the second quarter of 2018.

Many of these projects are scheduled to enter service in 2019 and 2020; some 23,514 MW of project capacity are now slated to come online during those two years. That is up from 18,305 in the second quarter of 2018 and 15,476 MW in the first quarter of 2018.

California, Nevada and Texas were once again home to most of the country’s 10 largest solar farms in advanced development or under construction. The two exceptions are both parts of the Spotsylvania Solar Energy Center, located in Virginia. S&P Global Market Intelligence considers a solar project to be in advanced development when two of the following five criteria are met: financing is in place, a power purchase agreement is signed, panels are secured, required permits are approved or a contractor has signed on to the project.

“Based on our tracking of utility integrated resource plans as well as other public announcements, we expect utilities outside of California to procure more than 15 GW of solar in the coming three years, a number that has increased by several gigawatts over the past year,” First Solar Inc. CEO Mark Widmar said during the solar panel producer’s Oct. 25 earnings call. “Much of the growth is coming from regions such as the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic, which are still in the early stage of utility-scale solar adoption.”

More ($): U.S. solar project pipeline balloons by 20.9% in Q3’18

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