Monday, May 27, 2013

Mid-size US solar PV market growing rapidly

Article published on on May, 27th 2013

NPD Solarbuzz (Santa Clara, California, US) has published a new analysis which finds that the number of solar projects between 100 kW and 2 MW has been growing rapidly in the United States, and now represents more than 60% of the US project pipeline.
NPD Solarbuzz finds that this growth is driven in part by the increasing popularity of third-party financing models. The company also notes that such projects have been moving from individual installations to multi-site projects, which in many cases supply energy to an entire town, county or school district.
NPD Solarbuzz notes that third-party ownership of mid-sized PV plants is particularly popular among government agencies
“The new ownership models and increasing scope for PV projects have developed in parallel,” states Christine Beadle of Solarbuzz. “Now, rather than a city/municipality looking at each site as an individual project, such as a library on one side of town and a fire station on the other, these projects are being looked at as one master project, meaning bigger overall projects/contracts, even though each PV array is similarly sized and located at different sites.”
“This type of project can help bring down soft costs as multiple arrays can be bid out as one project and installers can capitalize somewhat on economies of scale when purchasing components.”

 Third-party PV popular among tax-exempt organizations

Beadle notes that mid-sized PV installations developed and owned by third parties are particularly popular among municipalities and educational institutions. This is in part because developers can utilize tax benefits which cities, government entities and schools cannot.
She also notes that this is leading to the growth of community-based solar, where community members can purchase shares in a PV projects, which further drives growth in the sector.

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