With the summer sun bearing down on the U.S., toppling temperature records from coast to coast, solace can be found in the fact that utilities are using energy supplied by that same nearby star, our sun, to power air conditioners and fans to help people weather the heat.

Driving home this point, Zpryme analysis of federal data show that both utilities and small scale largely residential solar continue to install photovoltaic (PV) and associated battery storage capacity at an impressive rate. 

From January to April 2021, cumulative total U.S. solar generation totaled 46,851 GWh. This is a 20.7% increase over the same time period in 2020. During this time period, utility scale solar accounted for 69.4% of total solar generation and small scale solar came in at 30.6%. 

Top states managing utility scale solar generation include California (3,524 GWh), North Carolina (1,062 GWh), Texas (954.0 GWh), Florida (874.0 GWh), and Arizona (595.0 GWh).

In April 2021, utility scale solar and small scale solar generation was 10,923 GWh and 4,593 GWh, respectively. Compared to April 2020, this represents a 25.6% increase in utility scale solar generation and a 16.9% increase in small scale solar generation. 

Reinforcing solar generation with battery storage installation, the top 5 battery project owners ranked by capacity were LS Power with 250.0 MW of battery storage, followed by AES (201.6 MW), NextEra Energy (115.0 MW), Strata Clean Energy (100.0 MW), and Broad Reach Power (69.3 MW). The top 5 battery project owners ranked by number of projects were AES (21), Advanced Microgrid Solutions (14), Duke Energy (7), Tesla (7), and SDG&E (7). 

Analysis for this report was conducted by Zpryme using the U.S. EIA Monthly Energy Review, EIA form 861M detailed data, and EIA form EIA 860 monthly data.To learn how to access the full Zpryme report and review findings in detail, go to the U.S. Utility Scale Solar, Distributed Solar, and Battery Projects Trends April 2021 report.