There are currently more than 10 gigawatts worth of solar photovoltaic projects under construction in the United States, according to data recently released by GTM Research.
GTM’s “Utility PV Market Tracker” anticipates that there are an estimated 10,106 gigawatts now under construction, which (when operational) would bring the total U.S. solar utility capacity to nearly 26 gigawatts. There are also an additional 13,604 gigawatts of projects under contract that are currently in the pre-construction phase, according to the Market Tracker.
“Just three years ago, the U.S. was on the cusp of installing its 10th cumulative gigawatt -- and that was across all market segments,” according to a GTM Research news release announcing the finding. “Now we’re going to see 10 gigawatts of PV come on-line within a single market segment over the course of just a few quarters.”
The news release attributes the market growth to ambitious energy developers who began a large cache of solar projects before the extension of the federal Investment Tax Credit. A large portion of those projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2016.
“Halfway through the year, we’re now seeing the realization of that pipeline,” according to the release.
But, according to GTM Research analysts, the completion dates for many of those projects -- possibly to the tune of several gigawatts -- are also expected to spill over into 2017 due to construction and interconnection delays.
“We’re at a precipice where the pipeline of projects in development is larger than it has ever been,” Colin Smith, a GTM Research analyst, said in the release. “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.”
GTM Research is a market analysis and advisory division of Greentech Media, a news and research organization based in Massachusetts.