Intersolar 2019 No-Show Report
Intersolar 2019 No-Show Report
Well, it’s mid-July and we here at Array found ourselves, like so many others in the solar industry, not packing our bags—Intersolar 2019 was canceled this year. No trip to San Francisco, no elbow rubbing with the movers and shakers of the industry, no beers with our friends at Shoals.
So, with all that extra time, we decided it wouldn’t hurt to fill everyone in on what we all might have talked about at Intersolar. Here’s a recap of what’s going on in the industry and, had the stars aligned, what we would have enjoyed many a panel and discussion about in NorCal.
North America Passed 2M in Solar
One of the biggest topics we’re all still buzzing about is the news that North America is now 2 million strong in solar sites. What’s especially exciting about this is the exponential growth that’s happening so rapidly now. The industry only just hit 1 million installs three years ago—and that happened over a 40-year timeline.
Now, projections from Wood Mackenzie are that current install rates will double again by 2023. We’re looking at a strong possibility of reaching 4 million solar installs in North America in just four years.1
Of course, with all the excitement that comes with solar dominating the new energy sector, we’re all cognizant of the need to keep standards high. Everyone from solar module and tracker manufacturers to O&M providers, and so many other industry participants, are responsible for making sure these new solar sites are as durable and as financially rewarding for site owners and asset managers as possible.
Over a GW of Bifacial Currently Going Up
Among these new installations is one of the largest solar projects in the Americas. Array is honored to be part of this mega project, supplying our DuraTrack® HZ v3 trackers to support the over half a million bifacial modules at the site.
Nearing half a gigawatt in power, this major solar site will generate more than 1 TWh of clean energy. All said and done, this adds up to a reduction of more than 800,000 tons of CO2 released into the atmosphere every single year that the site is operational.
It’s a lot to be proud of, and it’s a big win for the solar industry as a whole (and bifacial technology in particular).
Florida’s Solar Capacity is Catching up with California’s
Florida’s nickname “the Sunshine State” felt like a misnomer in the solar industry for a long time. Electricity structure restrictions and general statewide lack of interest in utility scale, or even avoidance of solar, kept the Florida solar movement in the dark for a long time.
Now it seems Florida is finally living up to its name by doubling its solar capacity in 2018 to right around 1.7GW.2 This means Florida, which used to lag behind California and North Carolina, among other states, is now pulling in just behind California as #2 with Florida Power and Light Company at 626.8 MW-AC. California’s PG&E is still just barely in the lead, at 630 MW-AC.
All in all, Florida deployed the second most utility-supplied solar in 2018 with a 418.4 percent increase to 876.2 MW.3 Gigawoww!
Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere
Speaking of states of sunshine, here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re enjoying peak operational season right now. On June 21, all these 2 million solar sites soaked in the most sun they would all year as it hung around for the longest day of the year.
By the week Intersolar would have taken place, we would be just barely past this yearly milestone, with plenty of sunshine through the long days and short nights of summer. Although we didn’t get to celebrate it together this year, we can still celebrate peak production time from our respective offices.
Next year, Intersolar is planned to take place in San Diego in February, so we’ll be a little early for solstice season.4 But it’s hard to find a gloomy day in SoCal, so maybe Intersolar is onto something. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone there but first we look forward to reuniting in Salt Lake City for SPI in September!