State-Specific Photovoltaic Panel Reports

Now available from the U.S. Energy Information Administration: regular monthly reports about small-scale distributed solar PV electricity generation

By By Michael Chamernik, Associate Editor | January 15, 2016
The U.S. Energy Information Administration makes regular monthly reports available of small-scale distributed solar PV generation.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has begun providing regular reports, by state, of monthly estimates of small-scale distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation and capacity. 

Before the Dec. 1 release of Electric Power Monthly, the EIA only provided monthly state data for utility-scale generation sources. Reports for small-scale solar PV were released annually. 

Small-scale distributed solar photovoltaic systems include panels used on residential rooftops. While small-scale systems are indeed tiny (5 kilowatts), hundreds of thousands of systems around the country add up. The Solar Energy Industries Association estimates that 784,000 U.S. homes and businesses used solar panels in the first half of 2015.

New monthly estimates from January 2014 to September 2015 are available on the EIA’s Electric Power Monthly website. The September edition states that U.S. solar generation was 3.5 million megawatt hours that month, with 33 percent coming from small-scale solar PV.

Broken down by state, California has the most distributed PV capacity in the nation at nearly 40 percent (3,057 megawatts AC as of September). The next four states are New Jersey (793 MWAC), Arizona (609), Massachusetts (507), and New York (379).

The remaining 45 states are significantly less active in their PV panel use. The total estimate for all 45 states was 2,346 MWAC as of September. 

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