The USA’s solar installation businesses added 2051 MW of PV capacity in the second quarter of 2016, a growth rate year on year of 43%.
According to figures from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) latest US Solar Market Insight report, this marks the eleventh consecutive quarter in which more than a gigawatt of PV was installed.
“We’re seeing the beginning of an unprecedented wave of growth that will occur throughout the remainder of 2016, specifically within the utility PV segment,” said Cory Honeyman, GTM Research associate director of U.S. solar research. “With more than 10 GW of utility PV currently under construction, the second half of this year and the first half of 2017 are on track to continue breaking records for solar capacity additions.” 
According to the report, utility-scale solar installations accounted for 53 % of all installed PV in the first half of this year. With an additional 7.8 GW scheduled to come online in 2016, more solar capacity is expected to come online in the second half of this year than has ever come online in a single year.
The residential market segment hit a major milestone earlier this year – one million residential rooftop installations. The report notes that California’s solar market has experienced a slowdown, but other state markets, including Utah and Texas, have helped pick up the slack. Residential PV installations grew 1% over the first quarter of the year and 29% annually.
California exceeded expectations in the non-residential market sector where it represented an unprecedented 50% of the sector’s installations for the quarter. The non-residential market experienced some constraints in the second quarter of the year owing to expiring incentives in the Northeast and growing net-metering debates nationwide. The non-residential market segment grew 5% over the first quarter and 50% year-over-year.
Other key findings:
• In the first half of 2016, solar accounted for 26% of all new electric generating capacity brought on-line in the USA.
• While only seven states added more than 25 MW of rooftop PV in 1H2015, 11 states added more than 25 MW in 1H2016, continuing a trend of geographic demand diffusion
• Solar prices continue to drop across all market segments. Collectively, solar prices are 18% lower than they were in 2015 and 63% lower than they were 5 years ago.
GTM Research forecasts that 13.9 GWdc of new PV installations will come on-line in 2016, up 85% over 2015. Utility PV is expected to drive the majority of demand, accounting for over 70% of new capacity