It took decades to install the first 10 cumulative gigawatts of PV. Now we’re going to see that figure matched in a matter of months.
According to data from GTM Research""s Utility PV Market Tracker, the United States now has over 10 gigawatts of solar PV projects under construction.
Just three years ago, the U.S. was on the cusp of installing its 10th cumulative gigawatt that was across all market segments. It was a milestone several decades in the making.
Now, we’re going to see 10 gigawatts of PV come on-line within a single market segment over the course of a few quarters.
FIGURE: U.S. Utility PV Pipeline
Prior to the extension of the federal Investment Tax Credit, developers built up a massive pipeline of projects with 2016 completion dates. Halfway through the year, we""re now seeing a realization of that pipeline.
"We""re at a precipice where the pipeline of projects in development is larger than it has ever been," said Colin Smith, an analyst with GTM Research. "Soon, we""re going to reach a point where the number of projects operating is going to be higher than the number of projects in development. We""ve never seen that before."
With uncharted waters often comes surprises, however. GTM Research analysts expect several gigawatts"" worth of projects to spill over into 2017 due to construction bottlenecks interconnection delays.