US installed 930MW of PV in Q3

The US installed 930MW of PV in Q3 2013 helped by a record contribution from the residential sector, new industry figures show.

The latest quarterly study by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research says the US is on track to install almost 4.3GW of new PV in 2013 as a whole.

The third-quarter PV installations represented a 20% uplift on Q2’s figure and a 35% year-on-year increase, and were the second-largest quarterly additions on record.

They included a record 186MW in the residential sector and a “consistently strong” showing from the utility PV segment.

Only the non-residential mid-market was hit by downturns in New Jersey and Hawaii.

National average system prices fell by 4.2% quarter-on-quarter, from $3.13/W to $3.00/W, and were 16.4% lower than a year ago.

The SEIA survey still expects 4.27GW to be installed by the end of the year, which would represent a 27% increase over 2012 – and could see the US outstrip Germany in new solar additions for the first time in 15 years, on GTM’s figures.

The addition of the huge Solana concentrating solar power (CSP) plant by the end of the year should help propel the total solar market above 5GW, the study adds.

However, the trade body cautioned that the robust growth expected in Q4 “remains dependent on a number of positive factors remaining in place.

“If there is risk to our Q4 forecast, it is likely to the downside and we will be closely monitoring the market to determine whether a downward revision is necessary,” it adds.

Despite those caveats, SEIA CEO Rhone Resch said: “Without a doubt, 2013 will go down as a record-shattering year for the US solar industry.

“We've now joined Germany, China and Japan as worldwide leaders when it comes to the installation of new solar capacity."