US ROUND-UP: PV’s Q3 2019 record, Facebook in Georgia, EDF’s 2GW inverter deal

Facebook's 102.5MW project in Georgia is comprised of more than 350,000 solar modules located over 485 hectares of land. These modules were some of the first produced by  Hanwha Q CELLS at its new manufacturing facility in Whitfield County, Georgia. Image: Walton EMC

SEIA: US residential PV market hits record highs in Q3 2019

12 December: According to the latest US Solar Market Insight report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the US residential solar market hit a record high of 712MW installed during the third quarter of 2019. 

In total, the US PV sector added 2.6GW of solar power in Q3 2019, boosting the country’s total solar capacity to 71.3GW. 

A boost in residential installations helped the US PV market grow 45% year-over-year, with 15 states posting their best quarter ever for residential solar.

Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA, said: “This positive report makes clear that American families are demanding energy choice and solar, and that our industry is ready to deliver. This is the kind of growth and investment we could see going forward if we make smart policy moves, like extending the solar Investment Tax Credit and stopping additional tariffs. Failure to make these policy moves will limit deployment potential and cost jobs.”

While smaller solar markets such as Idaho, Wyoming, New Mexico and Iowa all saw record residential growth, California remains at the top of the leaderboard when it comes to residential solar, installing nearly 300MW in the third quarter of 2019, breaking its own quarterly record.

Wood Mackenzie is projecting that the total amount of solar installed in the US in 2019 will reach 13GW, representing 23% annual growth.

Silicon Ranch, Walton EMC commission 102.5MW PV farm for Facebook Data Centre

12 December: Walton Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) and Silicon Ranch were joined by Facebook this week to flip the switch on a 102.5MW solar project that stands as Facebook’s first PV installation within the state of Georgia. 

Walton EMC was selected by Facebook as the power supplier for its data centre in Newton County back when the facility was originally announced in March 2018. 

In order to both support Facebook’s data centre and other investments in in Newton County, Silicon Ranch employed more than 675 people in Early County over the span of 10 months to assemble and install single-axis trackers that feature NEXTracker's TrueCapture smart control system at the site. 

The 102.5MW project is comprised of more than 350,000 solar modules located over 485 hectares of land. These modules were some of the first produced by  Hanwha Q CELLS at its new manufacturing facility in Whitfield County, Georgia. 

Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp said: “This project is representative of the cooperative approach to economic development across our state that has made Georgia a leader in innovative fields like solar energy. The world-class solar cells manufactured by Hanwha Q CELLS in northeast Georgia and installed at Silicon Ranch's solar field in Early County are paving the way for leading companies with a focus on sustainability – like Facebook – to find a home in Georgia. That cooperation, facilitated by our outstanding local economic development partners like Walton EMC, is a large part of what has earned Georgia the title of No. 1 State for Business for seven consecutive years, and I am excited for the future of the solar energy industry in our state.”

Back in November, Walton EMC signed another agreement with Silicon Ranch on behalf of Facebook that will see the development of another 107MW installation that will support the Newton Data Centre. That second installation will be located in southeast Georgia and is scheduled to come online in 2021.

EDF signs 2GW inverter deal with Array Technologies 

12 December: EDF Renewables North America and Array Technologies have signed off on a new partnership that will provide EDF with nearly 2GW of single-axis solar tracking equipment supplied by Array Technologies, which the company will deploy on projects that they will build, own, and operate going forward. 

Array Technologies was selected for these projects because of its flexibility and adaptability to fit projects that are yet to be fully specified by EDF. 

Kathy Lin, vice president, solar and storage technology at EDF Renewables, said: “EDF Renewables is pleased to partner with Array Technologies to deliver competitively-priced, clean energy to its customers. As long-term owners of solar projects featuring DuraTrack HZ v3 single-axis solar trackers, we value reliability, high uptime, and excellent performance over the life of the solar project.”

Jeff Krantz, chief commercial officer at Array Technologies, added: “The partnership between Array Technologies and EDF Renewables is a testament to the strength and success of a mature and thriving solar market. This deal represents a significant milestone for our company's continued robust growth, and the success of the innovative solutions Array continues to produce.”

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