The Energy Information Administration (EIA) agency of the U.S. Department of Energy expects 13.4 GW (AC) of utility scale solar power capacity and 5.1 GW (AC) of small scale PV to be installed in the United States this year – an anticipated 95% increase on last year.
The 18.5 GW (AC) total, with a standard 1.3:1 DC-AC ratio, suggests 24 GW (DC) of solar will be installed. The previous 12-month record, set in 2016 as an investment tax credit was about to expire, was just under 15 GW (DC) of new solar. And the EIA expects the annual total to increase to 25.9 GW (DC) next year.
The government body also expects a net negative volume of fossil fuel capacity installations this year, a situation which has occurred every year since fossils peaked in the U.S. in 2006.
A third piece of good news is the 18.5 GW worth of wind generation capacity that is expected this year. Between wind and solar, the EIA expects 32 GW of new generation facilities – which would mark a true record year for the United States.