Solar power is having a banner year in the United States. We’ve already seen the price of solar power capacity hit one record low and then another. The latest record relates to the number of solar panels installed on American homes, which reached a new high in the second quarter of this year. This means there are now more solar panels on homes than ever before, and that the rate at which they were added is the fastest yet.
The research firm GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industry Association trade group have released a new report, indicating that the recent record beat out the amount of solar panels installed on home roofs in the first quarter of the year, which was also a record at that time. The rapid rise of residential solar panel installations isn’t much of a surprise, considering the cost of the technology has fallen significantly in past years.
Still, the utility-scale solar market continues to be substantially larger than home installs. Currently, there are 729 megawatts worth of solar panels installed in solar farms that feed into the grid, compared with 473 megawatts of solar panels installed on home roof tops. Solar farms are still growing rapidly, too. Many are racing against time to add new installations and take advantage of the federal investment tax credit, which offers a 30 percent tax credit. The credit should drop down to 10 percent in 2017, so solar farms want to make the most of the subsidy while it’s still at the higher amount.