The significant fall in solar module prices in the first half of the year has fueled a huge jump in the PV project pipeline in the US, according to a new report from market research firm Solarbuzz. Only two months ago, Solarbuzz reported that the US non-residential pipeline had reached 17GW, yet this figure has now climbed to 24GW.
“Utility expectations for improved installed pricing measured either in per watt peak or kilowatt hour have vastly increased over the past quarter,” noted Craig Stevens, president of Solarbuzz. “The result is more RFPs and an acceleration of PV orders.”
Benefiting from the rising demand on the back of lower module prices have been First Solar, SunPower, and Suntech Power, according to Solarbuzz, which were said to be the top three suppliers in megawatt terms.
The market research firm also noted that Yingli Green, Sharp, and SolarWorld have increased their presence in non-residential projects, while the leading inverter suppliers to the PV pipeline remain Advanced Energy and Satcon Technology.
Solarbuzz said that its September 2011 edition of the “United States Deal Tracker” database identifies 1,865 non-residential projects totalling 25.9GW either installed, being installed, or in their development phase since January 1, 2010.
Development phase projects include pre-RFP, going through the RFP process, or planned without RFP.
Solarbuzz noted that California accounted for 61% of the total US project pipeline, stimulated by the state’s 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard target, and benefiting from the recent trend of solar projects reallocated from concentrated solar power to PV.
The top six state pipelines in megawatt terms were said to be California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, New Jersey, and New Mexico. Utility-driven project activity is now evident across 35 states. The top 12 project developers currently account for 51% of the total pipeline. However, 44 states now contribute to the pipeline.