Annual installations will exceed 100 megawatts for the fourth consecutive year.
The U.S. solar carport market has emerged as a substantial component of the U.S. solar industry.
According to the latest report from GTM Research, U.S. Solar Carport Market 2014-2018: Landscape, Outlook and Leading Companies, the U.S. is forecasted to add more than 180 megawatts of solar carports in 2014, making it the fourth consecutive year with more than 100 megawatts installed.
FIGURE: U.S. Solar Carport Market Installations, 2010 to 2018E
“The U.S. solar carport market has historically been driven by solar incentives dedicated to government and educational entities coupled with physical and regulatory limitations for rooftop systems for these customers,” said report author Scott Moskowitz. “With the average system price of solar carports continuing to fall, commercial solar developers can offer increased value to customers in the form of larger project sizes and greater electricity savings.”
The report notes that solar carport installations in California have historically represented more than half of the national market, with lower penetration levels nationwide. While California will continue to anchor the national market, new state markets on the East Coast are emerging despite higher costs. GTM Research expects continued growth in California, along with market recoveries in Arizona and New Jersey, to drive the expansion of the market.
The promising market opportunity has led to an increasingly crowded U.S. solar carport vendor landscape, with pure-play carport manufacturers and vertically integrated developers competing with new entrants from traditional PV mounting solution suppliers.
FIGURE: U.S. Solar Carport Vendor Landscape
“The vendor and developer landscape for PV carports is growing more complex as companies optimize their strategies to meet a challenging pricing environment,” noted Moskowitz. “In general, developers are moving away from vertical integration to tap into lower-cost structural suppliers, and vendors are increasing their scope of services to combat falling pricing.”
By 2016, GTM Research expects the total market value of the U.S. solar carport market to reach $843 million.