Global supply chain pressures led to a year-over-year decline in new solar power capacity additions in the second quarter of 2021 in the U.S., according to an analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence. But, researchers wrote, demand is strong with 17.4 gigawatts of capacity under construction.
The U.S. added 1,968 MW of utility-scale solar power capacity in the second quarter of 2021, 31% less than the amount installed in the first quarter.
“Typically, the second and third quarters are the slowest for solar power capacity additions. But the second quarter of 2021 saw fewer capacity additions than the year-ago period when 2,104 MW was connected to U.S. power grids,” the researchers wrote.
The U.S. now has 53.8 GW of total solar power capacity, including distributed generation. Ørsted brought the largest solar power project online in Q2 2021 — the 420 MW Eunice Solar Project in Andrews, Texas.
S&P Global Market Intelligence found that Texas leads the nation in solar projects in advanced development or under construction with 7.4 GW of capacity in late-project phases, significantly ahead of North Carolina (2.6 GW) and California (2.2 GW). Researchers note that demand for utility-scale solar power capacity remains high from corporations and governments.
“Attracted by the cheap costs of solar power, fossil fuel companies are helping drive demand in West Texas. In April, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projected Texas will add a record 10 GW of utility-scale solar power capacity by the end of 2022, with 30% of the additions in the sun-soaked Permian Basin,” researchers wrote.
NextEra Energy has the largest solar power project pipeline with 11.3 GW of capacity in all stages of development, followed by Invenergy, EDF Group, SunChase Power, Macquarie Group, and AES Corp.