U.S, Has (almost) 100.000 Grid-tied PV Systems





About the Data

The largest number, from California, is based on adding 15% to current California Solar Initiative (CSI) projects to account for the non-IOU installations. 15% may be optimistic, but it is in line with what was happening in 2008.

Here are the details behind my estimates. The lovely underlying map is from the Open PV project. For links to the original reports and press releases visit SolarInstallData.com, where I try to drop all the data resources I find.

[apologies for the formatting]


State # systems Source data
California 72,575 CaliforniaSolarStatistics.ca.gov + 15% for MUNIs. Plus 33,000 systems installed prior to the CSI program (according to CEC data)
New Jersey 4,894 Report from Clean Energy Program through 12/09
New York 4,421 NYSERDA 2121 systems installed through 2/10, an addt’l 576 are approved and 496 in process. Long Island press release stated 2,300 systems installed through 12/09. Added LIPA and NYSERDA installed.
Colorado 3,833 2072 projects in Xcel in 2009, 1413 projects in 2008. Estimated +10% for rest of state
Arizona 2,700 State summary report as of 4/08 showed 1700 systems. Estimated another 1,000 installed since then based on growth of installers in state.
Texas 2,000 Austin Energy press release of 1,104 systems as of 12/09 and best guess for rest of state.
Massachusetts 1,888  Open PV
Nevada 955 Solar Generations status report through 2009 = 869 incentives paid. Estimated +10% for rest of state.
Connecticut 830 From State summary, 830 through 12/09, (507 were from CCEF)
Oregon 735 Oregon Energy Trust chart from 2008 shows 102+116+152+365 for total program
Wisconsin 715 Open PV
Maryland 487 Open PV
Pennsylvania 371 Open PV
Vermont 276 Open PV
New Mexico 263 Open PV
Wyoming 142 Open PV
Florida 132 Open PV
Lousiana 69 Open PV
Montana 56 Open PV
Minnesota 54 Open PV
Ohio 36 Open PV
Tennesse 14 Open PV
North Carolina 12 Open PV
Washington 8 Open PV
Alabama 4 Open PV
Missouri 3 Open PV
Iowa 2 Open PV

Total: 97,475

There must be more systems out there unreported. Let’s get them counted!

Excellent resources for tracking the number and capacity of grid-tied PV systems include Larry Sherwood, and his annual market update reports supported by IREC. More recently, the Open PV project from NREL has been compiling actual installation data from utilities, installers, and individuals. I am told by Brendan Heberton from NREL’s Open PV project that a system doesn’t make it into their database unless they have the size, location, cost, and installation date. This is a pretty high bar so the Open PV project is still recruting confirmations from much of the U.S. market. The sales and costs data they are recruiting is going to make a big difference for emerging markets across the U.S.

Then there is the grandaddy PV database, CaliforniaSolarStatistics.ca.gov. While thre are still plenty of errors and glitches, it is still missing the first 33,000 systems installed in the state (under the previous incentive program), and there is no way to confirm contract price accuracy – the CSI database is the best thing since sliced bread for consumers, regulators, and installers for tracking what is happening in the PV market.

If you are in a state that seems to be missing a few thousand systems, please help the Open PV project get them reported. If you know of installation reports and data resources not already listed at SolarInstallData.com, email me and we’ll get them on there.