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Arizona shines in residential solar installations, retains top 10 ranking nationwide

Arizona ranked ninth so far this year in total solar installations among U.S. states, according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report.

The state has 190.86 megawatts of newly installed solar photovoltaic capacity so far this year, with 52.61 megawatts coming in during the third quarter, according to the report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Arizona shined bright in residential solar installations during the third quarter, with 39.68 megawatts installed, ranking among the top five states along with California, and newcomers Florida, Texas and Nevada.

The U.S. residential solar market reached record highs during the third quarter, with 712 megawatts of solar installed, according to the report.

The increase in residential installations helped the U.S. solar market grow 45% year-over-year, said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president and CEO.

“This positive report makes clear that American families are demanding energy choice and solar, and that our industry is ready to deliver,” Hopper said in a statement.

Extending the solar investment tax credit and stopping additional tariffs will continue the growth and investment in solar, Hopper said.

Arizona ranked seventh overall in solar installations during 2017, dropping to ninth in 2018, and maintaining that ranking at the end of the third quarter of this year, according to the report.

Arizona had no utility solar installations during the quarter, which likely attributed to the lower ranking. So far this year, Arizona had 37.60 megawatts of utility solar installed, which is much lower than in past years.

This should change next year as a planned 100-megawatt solar project in Coolidge – believed to be the largest solar farm in Pinal County – is expected to be operational by the end of 2020. The project is a contract with Salt River Project.

Arizona also had 12.93 megawatts of non-residential solar installed this quarter, with a total of 35.10 megawatts so far this year, according to the report.

California, Florida and Texas round out the top three states for solar installations so far this year, followed by South Carolina, North Carolina, Hawaii, New Jersey and New York, respectively. Georgia rounds out the top 10 after Arizona.

South Carolina and Hawaii made huge moves up the ranking during the third quarter to leapfrog past Arizona.

While Arizona installed less solar during 2018 than the previous two years, the state still maintained its third-largest solar state ranking from 2017 in residential solar capacity, according to the year-in-review solar market report released earlier this year by the same groups.

SEIA is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry, employing more than 242,000 Americans.

By Hayley Ringle – Reporter, Phoenix Business Journal