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U.S. Solar Capacity Hits Another Major Milestone

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Solar energy generation continues to climb in the U.S. with more than half a million homes and businesses now generating solar energy. Greentech Media's GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) have just released another positive report for the second quarter of this year.

The U.S. installed 1,133 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV) during the second quarter, with residential and commercial segments accounting for nearly half of solar PV installations in the quarter. It's the fourth largest quarter for solar installations since the sector's debut and the third consecutive quarter with more than 1 GW installed. Installed capacity in the U.S. is now close to 16 GW, enough to power 3.2 million homes.

SEIA president and CEO Rhone Resch pointed to the benefits of this growth, saying, “Solar continues to soar, providing more and more homes, businesses, schools and government entities across the United States with clean, reliable and affordable electricity. Today, the solar industry employs 143,000 Americans and pumps nearly $15 billion a year into our economy. By any measurement, these policies are paying huge dividends for both the U.S. economy and our environment—and should be maintained, if not expanded, given their tremendous success, as well as their importance to America’s future.”

“Solar continues to be a primary source of new electric generation capacity in the U.S.” said GTM Research senior vice president Shayle Kann. “With new sources of capital being unlocked, design and engineering innovations reducing system prices, and sales channels rapidly diversifying, the solar market is quickly gaining steam to drive significant growth for the next few years.”

GTM Research and SEIA are projecting that 6.5 GW of PV will be installed in the U.S. by the end of this year, up 36 percent over 2013.

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