Chart of the day: Top 6 states for commercial-scale solar

Summary:Commercial-scale solar is booming and the center of that universe is in a state that has 61 percent of the total U.S. project pipeline.

Commercial-scale solar project pipeline in the United States has risen a dramatic 41 percent in past two months thanks to a rapid drop in panel prices over the summer, according to a recent report by Solarbuzz. And the center of that commercial-scale solar universe is California.

As I noted in an earlier post, a steep drop in panel module prices prompted a growing number of businesses, utilities and other organizations to invest in solar photovoltaic installations. First Solar, SunPower and Suntech are the leaders in terms of megawatts in the project pipeline. The bulk of the commercial-scale solar activity is in California. It's probably an unsurprising result to some folks. Still, it's illustrates how states have the power to inject life into emerging markets like clean energy with incentives and legislation.

The state's aggressive 33 percent renewable energy portfolio standard has sparked considerable demand and currently accounts for 61 percent of the total U.S. project pipeline, according to Solarbuzz. Arizona is at a distant second with 8 percent of the commercial-scale project pipeline (in terms of megawatts), followed by Nevada, Texas, New Jersey and New Mexico.

According to the recent Solarbuzz report, commercial-scale projects are in the pipeline in 44 states. Utility-scale project activity is evident in 35 states.

Chart: Solarbuzz


This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter.

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