Utility-scale solar has grown rapidly over the past five years

By Kathie Zipp Utility-scale solar installations—including both photovoltaic (PV) and thermal technologies—grew at an average rate of 72% per year between 2010 and 2016, faster than any other generating technologies. Utility-scale solar (plants with a capacity of at least one megawatt) now makes up about 2% of all utility-scale electric generating capacity and 0.9% of utility-scale generation. The first utility-scale solar plants were installed in the mid-1980s, but more than half of the currently operating utility-scale solar capacity came online in the past two years.
As of December 2016, more than 21.5 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale solar generating capacity was in operation across the

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