Arizona solar made substantial strides in 2010 by installing over 54 megawatts of solar power, doubling its 2009 output of 21 megawatts, ranking it fourth in the U.S. According to a study by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research, the total amount of photovoltaic panels installed on roofs in the U.S. was approximately 878 megawatt with more than 878 megawatts of photovoltaic panels installed on roofs around the country. This was double the 435 megawatts installed in 2009 around the U.S. Despite some cutbacks in Arizona solar incentives in 2010, Arizona ranked behind only California solar (259 megawatts), with New Jersey and Nevada ranking second and third respectively.
Arizona’s increased solar installations was helped by federal incentives as well as those from programs at Arizona Public Service Co. and Salt River Project. In addition, Arizona has been pushing for a solar manufacturing cluster with some success at luring manufacturing. Last year, China-based Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. and California-based inverter manufacturer Power-One Inc. were among the newest solar manufacturers to move their facilities to Arizona, which already includes thin-film giant, First Solar.