- The US market is expected to add 410 MW of community solar in 2017, according to GTM Research's US Community Solar Outlook 2017
- This would be nearly twice the additions in the community solar segment YoY, which is estimated to have reached 218 MW in 2016
- Utilities scaling up their voluntary community solar programs beyond 1 MW levels will lead to growth in the segment
- From 2017 onward, GTM research expects community solar to drive 20 to 25% of the annual non-residential US PV market
The US is likely to install 410 MW of community solar in the year 2017. This estimate from GTM Research if turns out to be true, will be an increase of over 88% from 218 MW that GTM believes would have been added in 2016.
Most of the over 200 MW capacity in 2016 came online since July 2016. Utilities’ voluntary community solar programs led the pace last year, as third party led projects faced policy delays, as per GTM. While 150 utility led voluntary programs are currently in place or under development, the third-party segment will dominate in the near future.
“Looking ahead, the community solar market will be defined by utilities scaling up pilot programs beyond a single sub-1 MW project, and the regulatory driven boom-and-bust cycles of third-party-led state markets,” said Cory Honeyman, GTM Research’s Director of US Solar Research and lead author of the report titled ‘US Community Solar Outlook 2017’.
From 2017 onward, community solar is expected to drive 20 to 25% of the annual non-residential PV market. Its success will of course depend on ‘an increasingly complex legislative and regulatory landscape shaping’. For now, it looks like that community solar will become a mainstream segment in the solar industry of the US.
The ‘US Community Solar Outlook 2017’ can be purchased for $2,995 at the GTM Research website.