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930 MW of Solar PV Installed in Q3 2013

In their quarterly assessment released last week, GTM Research and the Solar Electric Industries Association (SEIA) report the United States installed 930 MW of solar PV in Q3 2013. This is the second-largest quarter in history and the largest quarter ever for residential PV installations. In addition, the national average for installation prices (across all system sizes) declined 4.2% last quarter from $3.13/W to $3.00/W.

Key Details

  • Utility systems accounted for 58% of the installations (539 MW); non-residential systems (e.g., commercial DG) accounted for 22% of the installations (205 MW); and residential systems accounted for 20% of the installations (186 MW)
  • This was the first quarter that the majority of residential installations in California IOU territories came online without the incentive offered by the California Solar Initiative
  • In Hawaii, PV grid saturation has reached 75% of minimum daytime load or higher in nearly 40% of all distribution circuits across HECO, MECO, and HELCO territories
  • Across most states, residential installed prices are in the $4.00/W range; the average installed price for utility systems declined to $2.04/W


We expect solar to be at the beginning of a rapid period of growth. While policy support is expected to continue to decline as states fulfill RPS requirements and reduce incentive programs, solar will be driven by decreases in installed costs as the industry focuses on reducing soft costs (e.g., customer acquisition, permitting, overhead, etc.). In future years, the residential and non-residential sectors will experience strong growth in annual installed capacity; however, utility systems will continue to represent the majority of new annual installed capacity.

Additional Information

The full report can be found on SEPA’s website here:

This report is part of the Clean Tech & Sustainability Minute series. To view all featured Minutes, please click here.

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Contributing Authors

Paul Quinlan Clean Tech Manager

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