North Carolina and Texas shine in record 2013 for US solar

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North Carolina and Texas both surged up the rankings of leading US solar states in 2013 in what was a record-breaking year for the country, according to analysts NPD Solarbuzz.

The south-eastern state leapt three places up the top-10 list to take second place to California, which was once again crowned the US’s top solar state.

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Texas also performed strongly, gaining four places to take the number five spot. The Lone Star state has commonly been regarded an under-performer in solar terms.

Overall, the US saw 4.2GW of new solar capacity added last year, boosting the country’s total market by 15% compared to 2012 and making it the world's largest market outside Asia in 2013.

The fourth quarter of 2013 was particularly strong, with 1.4GW of new capacity installed in total.

According to Solarbuzz, large-scale projects dominated the new capacity installations, accounting for 80% of new deployment. The ground-mount segment reached almost 3GW in 2013, with over 1GW installed in the fourth quarter alone.

Michael Barker, senior analyst at Solarbuzz, said: “Each year, the final quarter in the United States results in a new quarterly record for solar PV installed. The solar PV industry in the United States is, on average, now installing more than one gigawatt of solar PV each quarter.”

Solarbuzz ascribed North Carolina’s ascendency to strong activity in the utility-scale segment.

In its climb up the rankings it knocked Arizona and New Jersey down the list, with these states falling to number three and four respectively.

New York and New Mexico were both new entrants to the top 10, displacing Maryland and Colorado.

Solarbuzz has predicted the US will be the third largest market in 2014 after China and Japan.

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