SOLARSAT™: Utility solar activity slow through February (probably seasonal, but worth watching)
Utility scale solar construction was pretty uneventful through February, with firstDIRT (new construction) and panel installations both down from January and lower than the Q4’2022 average.
Feb solar module imports remain firm
Despite noise around detentions, February PV module imports have remained firm.
California February permits off the chart
California residential solar permits jumped by 25% sequentially in February and are now up 40% y/y (by far the largest month ever reported – which usually happens in August / September).
Takeaways from Intersolar Conference; U.S. module manufacturing could be 40 GW+; NEM surge underway
We now think that boom could be in the range of 40 GWdc by 2025E, much higher than the 25-30 GWdc that has been announced / in the public domain and only 8 GWdc that exists now.
January import data echos solarSAT views (big jump in module supply)
Recent surge in module availability is putting the U.S. back on track to deliver record solar generation this year
California improved in January (after slow December) – possibly NEM pull forward; Rest of country continues to slow
With California holding up in January, we think Q1’23E could have a shot of only being down single digits sequentially and up ~10% compared to Q1’22.
SOLARSAT™: Big start to 2023 (panels installed jump another 25%); More solar likely in H1’23E than 2022 total; New construction still hibernating
surprising jump in panel deliveries over the last 30 days, with January installations 25% higher than the previous record in mid-2021.
Takeaways from EIA data this week (2.5 GW online – missing 10GW under construction); Queues up 30% since IRA; NextEra & Nextracker data
With December published, the final tally for U.S. utility solar turned online in 2022 was roughly 11 GWac, down ~20% from 2021.
Dec permits firm (+18% y/y)…but signs of weakness; California now flat (after red hot 2022)
December permit data continues to hold a good pace, up 18% compared to 2021.
Nextracker (NXT) Data Trends
Using our satellite imagery, we counted over 21 GWac of utility scale projects that started construction last year, up over 20% from the prior year.