Summary

This monthly report tracks generation (MWh) trends of utility scale solar and small scale solar at the national and state level. Small-scale solar PV installations, defined by having capacity of less than 1 megawatt (MW), are usually located at the customer’s site of electricity consumption. In addition, capacity (MW) for battery technology added by month is included in this report.

Note: Analysis excludes solar thermal generation.

Source

Analysis and data for this report was done by Zpryme using the U.S. EIA Monthly Energy Review, EIA form 861M detailed data, and EIA form EIA 860 monthly data.

U.S. Solar Trends

  • From January to March 2021, cumulative total solar generation totaled 31,335 thousand MWh. This is a 19.5% increase over the same time period in 2020. During this time period in 2021, utility scale solar accounted for 68.9% of total solar generation and small scale solar came in at 31.1%.
  • From January to March 2021, cumulative utility scale solar generation totaled 21,576 thousand MWh. This is a 21.9% increase over the same time period in 2020.
  • From January to March 2021, cumulative distributed or small scale solar generation totaled 9,780 thousand MWh. This is a 14.5% increase over the same time period in 2020.
  • In March 2021 utility scale solar and small scale solar generation was 9,342.0 (thousand MWh) and 4,092.3 (thousand MWh), respectively. Compared to March 2020, this represents a 30.5% increase in utility scale solar generation and a 16.3% increase in small scale solar generation.
  • In March 2021, small scale residential solar represented 60.9% of total small scale solar generation. Commercial and industrial represented 31.1% and 8.0%, respectively.
  • In March 2021, the top 5 states for small scale solar generation (thousand MWh) were California (1,644.6), Arizona (286.3), New Jersey (239.7), Massachusetts (236.2), and New York (230.2).
  • In March 2021, the top 5 states for utility scale solar generation (thousand MWh) were California (2,926.0), Texas (1,001.0), North Carolina (842.0), Florida (767.0), and Arizona (521.0).
  • Comparing annual data, total solar generation hit 132,631 thousand MWh in 2020, up 24.1% compared to 2019. Utility scale solar increased by 26.3% and small scale solar increased by 19.4% during this same period (2019 vs. 2020).

U.S. Battery Capacity and Projects

  • As of March 2021, cumulative operational battery projects totaled 224 with a capacity of 1,766.0 MW.
  • Future planned capacity increased to 12,011 MW in March 2021 (vs 11,786 MW in February 2021).
  • From January to March 2021, a total of 10 battery projects have been added in the U.S., accounting for an additional 272.3 MW of capacity.
  • Since January 2020, U.S. operational battery capacity has increased by 778 MW or 78.8%.
  • As of March 2021, 79.6% of battery projects were owned by Non-CHP IPPs and 20.1% were owned by utilities.
  • In March 2021, the top 5 states ranked by battery MW capacity were California (788.9), Texas (223.1), Illinois (132.7), Massachusetts (78.4), and Hawaii (63.0).
  • In March 2021, the top 5 battery project owners ranked by MW capacity were LS Power (250.0), AES (184.2), NextEra (115.0), Invenergy (64.5), and Duke Energy (63.8).
  • In March 2021, the top 5 battery project owners ranked by number of projects were AES (19), Advanced Microgrid Solutions (14), Duke Energy (7), Tesla (7), and SDG&E (7).

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