2012 marked a record year for America’s solar industry. Installations surged by 76% compared to 2011—representing an estimated market value of $11.5 billion. From commercial to residential, every sector experienced significant growth, but the clear standout of 2012 was utility-scale solar.
Utility-scale solar projects are designed to generate massive amounts of electricity. Unlike other sectors, the electricity generated by utility-scale projects is sold directly to wholesale utility buyers. In the recently released U.S. Solar Market Insight report, GreenTech Media and SEIA found that the utility-scale sector grew by an unprecedented 134% last year—with eight of the largest solar projects in America starting operation.
Many of these projects were supported by investments from the Energy Department’s Loan Guarantee Program. These investments—in several of the world’s largest solar generation facilities—help to lower the cost of financing and accelerate the completion of transformative clean energy projects. For the utility-scale projects that came online last year as part of the loan program portfolio, see the complete story, see the Energy Blog .