Survey Data Also Available
The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has just released its fifth annual the 2011 Utility Solar Rankings Report. Utility Solar Rankings analyzes the amount of new solar power interconnected by U.S. electric utilities in 2011, including annual and cumulative national Top 10 rankings and annual rankings by region and utility-type. The report also includes several additional Top 10 “breakout” ranking categories, including annual and cumulative largest solar projects, cumulative penetration rate (number of projects per 1,000 utility customers), and cumulative megawatts for investor-owned utility holding companies.
The findings come from more than 240 of the nation’s most solar-active power providers, and highlight such key market trends as:
• Utilities are adapting to solar as their fastest growing electricity source. In 2011, utilities interconnected over 62,500 PV systems, posing questions about how they will physically process this volume of interconnection requests, accommodate high-penetration growth on the distribution grid and resolve the economic implications of reduced electricity sales.
• For the fourth straight year, utilities integrated a record amount of new solar power, despite the recession. Residential homes accounted for more than 89 percent of the installations, while commercial rooftop installations accounted for more than 53 percent of the capacity. SEPA expects continued growth in 2012, driven by sustained price decreases and a build-out of large solar power plant contracts.
• Utility-driven solar procurement is vital to rapid solar market expansion, representing 39 percent of the new solar capacity in 2011, versus 9 percent in 2008.
For these utilities, solar power is part of their day-to-day operations and they are already adapting to this rapid growth and the operational and regulatory changes that come with it. In the process, the path that other utilities will soon follow is being laid.
You can Download the report free of charge today.
SEPA is also making the report’s survey data (pdf) on solar installations available for purchase. The dataset includes the responses from the 200-plus utilities covered in the report, including all tables and figures from the full report, unpublished summary statistics and data by utility including solar capacity in megawatts and number of solar installations.