Last year, utilities across the United States interconnected more than 62,000 photovoltaic systems of all sizes, according to new findings recently released by the Solar Electric Power Association. The added systems increased new utility solar capacity by almost 1,500 megawatts — more than twice the amount added in 2010. Both the number of systems and the percentage of growth made solar electricity the fastest growing electric source in the United States last year.
The report shows that 39 percent of new solar capacity came from utilities owning or contracting for solar power. Large solar projects, greater than 10 megawatts each, represent the bulk of this capacity.
Altogether, the Top 10 utilities added more than 1,000 megawatts of solar electricity capacity in 2011. Overall, more than 240 utilities surveyed reported nearly 1,500 megawatts of new solar, equivalent to about six natural gas power plants.