Utility-Scale Solar Has Led U.S. Solar Since 2012

Credit to Author: Guest Contributor| Date: Sun, 05 Jan 2020 18:58:58 +0000

Published on January 5th, 2020 | by Guest Contributor

January 5th, 2020 by  

Originally published in the Electricity Markets and Policy Group section of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The utility-scale solar sector has led the overall U.S. solar market in terms of installed capacity since 2012. In 2018, the utility-scale https://emp.lbl.gov/utility-scale-solar/sector accounted for nearly 60% of all new solar capacity, and is expected to maintain its market-leading position for at least another six years. More than three-quarters of all states, representing all regions of the country, are now home to one or more utility-scale solar projects.

This report — the seventh in an ongoing annual series — provides in-depth data-driven analysis of the utility-scale solar project fleet in the United States. Drawing on empirical project-level data from a wide range of sources, this report analyzes technology trends, installed project prices, operating costs, capacity factors, power purchase agreement (“PPA”) prices, the levelized cost of solar energy (LCOE), and the market value of solar. The report also includes data and observations about completed or recently announced solar+storage projects. Given its current preeminence in the market, utility-scale PV also dominates much of this report, though data from CPV and CSP projects are also presented where appropriate. Highlights from this year’s edition include:

At the end of 2018, there were at least 284 GW of utility-scale solar power capacity within the interconnection queues across the nation, 55 GW of which are paired with storage. The growth within these queues is widely distributed across all regions of the country, and is most pronounced in the up-and-coming Midwest region, which accounts for 26% of the 133 GW added to queues in 2018, followed by the Southwest (21%), Southeast and Northeast (each with 15%), California (10%), Texas (9%), and the Northwest (5%). Though not all of these projects will ultimately be built as planned, the ongoing influx and widening geographic distribution of solar projects within these queues is as clear of a sign as any that the utility-scale market is maturing and expanding outside of its traditional high-insolation comfort zones.

A webinar summarizing key findings from the report will be held on January 9th at 1:00 pm Eastern: .

Please choose among the four tabs below to download the report, slide deck, or data files, explore additional data visualizations, or contact the project staff involved.

Finally, we want to hear from you! We are seeking your feedback on the report and on ways in which we might refine it in future years, via this brief . In addition, if you have specific questions about the report or data or requests for related analytical support from LBNL staff, you can submit those comments through a separate form here, and they will be routed to the appropriate staff.

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