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Solar provides all new utility-scale power capacity in March

According to statistics from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), all utility power generating capacity added to the grid last month came from solar.

The data comes from the FERC’s March 2013 Energy Infrastructure Update, and it’s the first time that all new added capacity for one month has come from solar. The update only considers utilities that added capacity, not individual home solar panels.

Seven new projects went live across California, Nevada, New Jersey, Hawaii, Arizona, and North Carolina, totalling 44 MW of new solar power. There was no new added power capacity from any other energy sources during March.

Credit: FERC

Credit: FERC

“This speaks to the extraordinary strides we have made in the past several years to bring down costs and ramp up deployment,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Further, about 30 percent of new utility-scale generation capacity added last quarter came from solar.

“Since 2008, the amount of solar powering U.S. homes, businesses and military bases has grown by more than 600 percent—from 1,100 megawatts to more than 7,700 megawatts today,” said Resch.

“As FERC’s report suggests, and many analysts predict, solar will grow to be our nation’s largest new source of energy over the next four years.”


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