fourth quarter push

Report: Texas expected to shine as top state for solar installations in 2023

According to a report, In the fourth quarter, Texas is expected to add about 3.7 gigawatts of solar capacity — more than the combined total for the previous three quarters. Photo via Getty Images

When all the numbers are tallied, 2023 should be a very sunny year for solar installations in Texas.

The Solar Energy Industries Association, SEIA, and energy research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie predict Texas will be the top state for solar installations in 2023. In the fourth quarter, Texas is expected to add about 3.7 gigawatts of solar capacity — more than the combined total for the previous three quarters.

In 2021, Texas added nearly 6.07 gigawatts of solar capacity, with that figure falling to more than 3.66 gigawatts in 2022. But for 2023, SEIA and Wood Mackenzie anticipate Texas having added almost 6.24 gigawatts of solar capacity for residential, business, and utility customers.

A report released last week by SEIA and Wood Mackenzie indicates that sales volume for solar installations has declined in Texas and some other states due in part to higher costs for financing solar equipment. Solar sales volume in Texas started dropping off in late 2022 and has continued to shrink, says the report.

Wood Mackenzie forecasts 13 percent growth for the U.S. residential solar market in 2023. The report predicts the U.S. will have added 33 gigawatts of residential solar capacity in 2023, up from a record-setting 6.5 gigawatts in 2022. The U.S. added 6.5 gigawatts of residential solar capacity in the third quarter of 2023 alone, says the report.

“Solar remains the fastest-growing energy source in the United States, and despite a difficult economic environment, this growth is expected to continue for years to come,” says Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA. “To maintain this forecasted growth, we must modernize regulations and reduce bureaucratic roadblocks to make it easier for clean energy companies to invest capital and create jobs.”

Solar accounted for nearly half (48 percent) of all new electric-generating capacity during the first three quarters of 2023, bringing total installed solar capacity in the U.S. to 161 gigawatts across 4.7 million installations. By 2028, U.S. solar capacity is expected to reach 377 gigawatts, enough to power more than 65 million homes.

“The U.S. solar industry is on a strong growth trajectory, with expectations of 55 percent growth this year and 10 percent growth in 2024,” says Michelle Davis, head of solar research at Wood Mackenzie.

“Growth is expected to be slower starting in 2026 as various challenges like interconnection constraints become more acute,” she adds. “It’s critical that the industry continue to innovate to maximize the value that solar brings to an increasingly complex grid. Interconnection reform, regulatory modernization, and increasing storage attachment rates will be key tools.”

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A View From HETI

Empact Technologies announced a multi-year agreement with Ampliform, which originates, builds, develops, and operates utility-scale solar and solar plus storage projects. Photo courtesy of Empact

Houston company's Inflation Reduction Act compliance management software has scored a new partner.

Empact Technologies announced a multi-year agreement with Ampliform, which originates, builds, develops, and operates utility-scale solar and solar plus storage projects. The Empact platform uses a combination of software and services to ensure projects meet IRS regulatory requirements, which focus on wage and apprenticeship, domestic content, and energy and low-income community incentives. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed

Empact will partner specifically with Ampliform’s project Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) firms, subcontractors, and key suppliers of steel and iron products. In addition, they will work through a project’s life cycle for EPC’s solar modules, trackers, and inverters to manage prevailing wage & apprenticeship, domestic content, and other tax incentive qualification and compliance.

“The team at Ampliform had the leadership and foresight to recognize the significant risks of IRA non-compliance and the need to have third party compliance management in place prior to construction kick-off," Charles Dauber, CEO and founder of Empact, says in a news release. We look forward to helping Ampliform fully leverage the IRA tax incentives to develop and build their project development pipeline.”

Ampliform has approximately 700MW of projects in short-term development. Ampliform also plans 3GW of projects in its development pipeline. Ampliform’s future expansion plans exceed more than 13GWdc in total. Empact will manage the IRA compliance for these projects. According to a Goldman Sachs report, the IRA is estimated to provide $1.2 trillion of incentives by 2032.

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