Over the last five years the U.S. solar market has doubled in size. Starting with an annual solar capacity of around 5,000 MW (megawatt or one million watts) there is now well over 11,000 MW in place.
Last year, a new solar project was installed every 100 seconds. The number of solar installations in the U.S. is now more than 1.9 million. A milestone of 2 million should be reached early this year with 4 million by 2023
The almost 2 million solar installations is equivalent to nearly 60 GW (gigawatt or one billion watts) of total solar capacity. The electric power generated is enough to power more than 11.3 million homes. See SEIA Data
Last year, California continued to dominate the U.S. Market in installed capacity. Its 23,186 MW was well ahead of all others in the top ten, which ranged from ?North Carolina with 4,671 MW to New York with 1,570 MW. ?Top Ten States
Minnesota, 6th in 2017, had slipped out of the top ten. It now ranks 13th with a capacity of 1,015 MW and 3981 solar installations. There are 139,458 homes in the state powered by solar. Almost 2% of the State’s electric was from solar power generation. ?Solar State By State
In relations to the its neighbor’s, Minnesota could be called a bellwether in the upper Midwest. To the south, Iowa is 37th with a little under 75 MW capacity 3,765 installations. They have 9,000 homes powered by solar.
Wisconsin ranks 40th with a capacity of 59 MW and 3388 installations. It has 9,000 state homes powered by solar. Its electricity from solar makes up .08%
South Dakota ranks 51st with a solar capacity of 1.53 MW with 49 installations. Their solar capacity equates mostly to a 1 MW addition of Utility PV in 2016.
At 52nd, North Dakota has just .36 MW with 29 installations. There has been no appreciable growth after 2014.
The sunshine is no different in Minnesota from our neighbors, yet their growth in solar seems to be lagging in the shadows.
Photo Credit: Commercial roof-top solar installation (cropped) used with permissions via Flickr