The U.S. connected 2.4 gigawatts of utility-scale solar projects to its power grids in the third quarter of 2021 representing 46% growth over the same period last year, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
The red-hot quarter also included the addition of 127 megawatts of battery storage paired with utility-scale solar PV systems. Texas led the way by adding 37% of the new utility-scale solar generation.
"The new additions meet demand from technology giants such as Microsoft Corp. and Meta Platforms Inc., municipal utilities such as Austin Energy and other off-takers looking for greener power generation," S&P's Justin Horwath wrote.
The pipeline for new utility-scale solar projects grew by 6 GW in the third quarter, including the 199 MW Pinyon Creek Solar Project in Utah, the largest project announced over that period. Four of the largest projects announced in the third quarter are paired with battery storage systems.
Nextera Energy has the single-largest pipeline of utility-scale solar projects in the U.S., 10.9 GW, followed by Invenergy, EDF Group, Apex Clean Energy, and SunChase Power.
Nextera has 1.4 GW of utility-scale solar projects under construction, while 8.4 GW of capacity is in early development.