A recent survey by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) showed that in 2011 around 63% of new solar capacity in the U.S. came from utilities outside California, the largest percentage on record. Moreover, a total of seven of the year’s top 10 utilities were from outside California, and four of the top-ranking utilities were located in the east.
But not only is the geography changing — so is the very structure of the industry, with Florida again leading the way.
While traditional solar markets have relied on distributed PV for most new capacity, these days it is the centralised large-scale projects that are gaining traction. In 2010 alone, eight centralised projects greater than 10 MW each were installed.
Florida is now focusing closely on utility-owned or purchased solar power, as opposed to the smaller customer-owned, net-metered systems that have characterised the west coast market.