(Reuters) – The U.S. is estimated to have added 6.4 gigawatts (GW) of small-scale solar capacity in 2022, the most ever in a single year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday.
The capacity of small-scale solar increased from 7.3 GW in 2014, to 39.5 GW by 2022, the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy said.
Small-scale solar – also called distributed solar or rooftop solar, refers to solar-power systems with 1 megawatt (MW) of capacity or less, and accounted for about one-third of the nation’s total solar capacity.
The U.S. solar industry was expected to add a record 32 GW of production capacity this year, helped by investment incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act.
Hawaii has the highest small-scale solar penetration, with 541 watts per person, despite California having the biggest small-scale solar capacity at 36%, the EIA said.
New York and New Jersey—mid-Atlantic states with less year-round sunshine—have the second- and third-most small-scale solar capacity, respectively, although in recent years, sunny Texas and Arizona have been closing the gap, the agency said.
(Reporting by Anjana Anil in Bengaluru; Editing by Marguerita Choy)