American photovoltaic panel manufacturing capacity increases 71% in Q1 2024 as industry reaches 200-gigawatt milestone

Florida and Texas charge ahead on photovoltaic solar installs while California stumbles due to policy changes.

A record-setting 11 gigawatts (GW) of new solar module manufacturing capacity came online in the United States during Q1 2024, the largest quarter of solar manufacturing growth in American history.

According to the U.S. Solar Market Insight Q2 2024 report released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie, total U.S. solar module manufacturing capacity now exceeds 26 GW annually.

In addition, the industry also installed an impressive 11.8 GW of new solar capacity, bringing total capacity to 200 GW in the United States. The report also contains new data from 2023, showing that the United States added over 40 GW of new solar capacity last year. Wood Mackenzie now projects that the U.S. solar industry will install another 40 GW in 2024.

“This quarter proves that new federal investments in clean energy are revitalizing American manufacturing and strengthening our nation’s energy economy,” said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “Whether it’s a billion-dollar investment in a nearby solar project or a new manufacturing plant employing hundreds of local workers, the solar and storage industry is uplifting communities in every state across this country.”

Massive growth in the utility-scale market is driving record solar deployment figures as the segment added nearly 10 GW of new capacity in Q1. Florida and Texas saw strong utility-scale growth and led all states for new solar capacity in Q1. Other markets like New Mexico and Ohio also had strong quarters, installing 686 and 546 megawatts (MW), respectively.

“The U.S. solar industry continues to show strength in terms of deployments,” said Michelle Davis, head of global solar at Wood Mackenzie and lead author of the report. “At the same time, the solar industry faces a number of challenges to its continued growth including availability of labor, high voltage equipment constraints, and continued trade policy uncertainty.” 

The residential solar segment is feeling the full weight of policy changes in California and experienced its worst quarter in two years. The commercial and community solar markets remained steady year-over-year.

Total U.S. solar capacity is expected to double over the next five years, growing to 438 GW by 2029.