According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industry Association’s latest quarterly U.S. Solar Market Insight report, the U.S. installed 9 megawatts of concentrating solar in the second quarter of 2011.
The total quarterly installed capacity can be attributed to four concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) projects with 2 megawatts in Arizona, 1 megawatt in CA, and 6 megawatt in New Mexico. It marks the largest quarter for CPV installations in U.S. history. Included in these installations is the NextEra Energy's Hatch Solar Project which utilitzes Amonix's solar tracking concentrator panels and, at 5 megawatts, is one of the largest CPV systems in North America. However, this record quarter is likely to be broken soon: the Cogentrix 30-megawatt Alamosa Solar CPV installation in Colorado closed a $90.6 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy in September and is expected online by the end of the year.
Source: GTM Research - Solar Market Insight Report
Though no concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) projects came online in the second quarter, installed capacity is expected to increase significantly in the next few years. The U.S. currently has a CSP project pipeline of over 7 gigawatts, with 57 megawatts of concentrating solar expected online by the end of the year. Additionally, in September the Department of Energy finalized loan guarantees for multiple CSP projects; Ivanpah (370 megawatts) received $1.6 billion, Crescent Dunes (110 megawatts) received $737 million, and Abengoa Mojave Solar received $1.2 billion.
With over 5,500 megawatts of projects with signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) and nearly $4 billion in federal financing secured, significant capacity expansion in the concentrating solar industry can be expected in upcoming years.
For more details on CPV and CSP projects in the U.S., subscribe to GTM Research's Utility PV Market Tracker.