US sees record solar installation in first quarter of 2019, report says

This year off to a bright start for solar companies.

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The first quarter of 2019 saw the installation of 2.7 gigawatts of solar photovoltaics (PV) -- the most solar ever installed in the first three months of a year, according to a new report.

U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, a study conducted by Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, also predicts 25 percent growth in 2019 compared to last year, and it expects more than 13 gigawatts of solar PV installations this year.

The pair announced in May that the U.S. hit also hit a milestone 2 million solar installation in the first quarter.

“The first quarter data and projections for the rest of the year are promising for the solar industry,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the SEIA. “However, if we are to make the kind of progress we need to make the 2020s The Solar Decade, we will need to make substantial policy and market advances.”

The most installations during the beginning of the year came from utilities, but the residential market also experienced growth.

The U.S. had 603 megawatts of residential solar installations in the first three months of the year -- up 6 percent annually, according to the report.

“Despite steady installations in Q1 2019, the residential market is still highly reliant on legacy state markets, such as California and the Northeast, which have seen only modest to flat growth over the past several quarters,” Wood Mackenzie solar analyst Austin Perea said.