Large Scale Solar Power Grows Rapidly


Large-scale solar power has grown rapidly over the past six years as falling solar panel prices, tax incentives and government policies aimed at boosting renewable energy encourage the development of major solar projects.

The installed capacity of so-called utility-scale projects - greater than one megawatt, or enough to power 200 homes on a hot Texas day - has increased an average of more than 70 percent a year between 2010 and 2016 to about 21,500 megawatts, with about half of that capacity coming online in the last two years.

Utility-scale solar, however, still accounts for a tiny share of the nation's electricity production. Last year, it represented less than 1 percent of the country's utility power generation capacity. Wind accounts for 5.6 percent of the nation's generation capacity, according to the Energy Department.

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