Megawatt-scale solar projects installed in the United States rose 125% in 2016, from 2015, according to IHS Markit. Blattner Energy installed the most solar projects in 2016, followed by First Solar and Swinerton Renewable Energy.
The top five engineering, procurement and construction firms (EPCs) had a 50% share in the U.S. non-residential solar market, according to IHS Markit. The top firms were able to do this “by winning large projects in 2016 — many larger than 100 megawatts-dc in size.” While many of the projects set for construction in 2017 are smaller, larger projects are expected in 2018 and 2019 and “will begin to tip the balance toward mega-scale projects again.”
“Leading diversified EPCs such as Blattner Energy, Swinerton Renewable Energy and Mortenson Construction contributed to installing more than 15 gigawatts-dc of PV (solar) in the United States in 2016 — a record-breaking amount for the market,” said Camron Barati, North America solar analyst for IHS Markit. “All told, commercial and utility-scale segments generated more than 80% of installation demand.”
Blattner Energy installed a significant amount of solar in the western United States, including California and New Mexico, and “was also highly active in emerging state markets such as Georgia. Aside from First Solar, the top five EPC companies were primarily characterized as diversified firms that do not have an exclusive focus on solar,” according to IHS Markit.