Bookmark and Share

US Solar Farm size Decreases in order to Accelerate Completion Times

0 Comment

The US solar market has been dominated by large ground mounted solar farms developed by companies such as Sunedison (SUNE), Sunpower (SPWR), First Solar (FSLR) etc. Easy availability of large tracts of land in high insolation areas such as California and Arizona have helped the development of massive solar farms. Some of the biggest solar plants in the world have been built in the USA.

However, the solar farms are now seeing their sizes decrease as developers focus on quicker completion times. Massive solar farms take a lot more time than smaller farms as they have to get a lot of approvals and clear regulations. They also get a lot of pushback from local environmental/wildlife activists as well as local communities who feel they are not getting enough benefits out of the project. First Solar had frequent run in with the opposition while building large sized plants.

Read Advantages & Disadvantages of Solar Farms here.

Now there is an additional factor that is in play. This is the expiration of the 30% tax refund by 2017. The 30% ITC helps in substantially increasing the payoff from building a solar power plant and without this the incentive for building a utility solar farm reduces substantially. A small 20-30 MW has almost a 100% chance of getting completed in a year, while a 100-500 MW may take 2-3 years which would increase the risk of not getting the ITC. The US solar pipeline is now 43 GW increasing by 7% from last year according to Solarbuzz. There are more than 2000 projects with less than 30 MW in solar farm size.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

No Responses so far | Have Your Say!