Solar carports have emerged as a solution of choice for many businesses, schools, and others seeking to go solar. Carports provide a number of advantages. They solve siting difficulties that may be encountered on a customer’s roof, they provide shade and rain protection for cars, and they can also serve as a more visible promotion of a business or organization’s green credentials.
Hardly a day goes by without news of a solar carport. In fact, we just published a story earlier today about Ford bringing the largest solar installation, a solar carport, to Michigan.
GTM Research has noticed the trend. Their new report, U.S. Solar Carport Market 2014-2018: Landscape, Outlook and Leading Companies, forecasts continued growth for the market. Specifically, GTM Research predicts 180 MW of new solar carports in the U.S. this year. That would make 2014 the fourth consecutive year with more than 100 MW of solar carports installed throughout the country.
What’s new this year, according to the report, is that other markets are expanding beyond the dominant California region. While California remains a strong market, New Jersey and Arizona (not to mention other states like Michigan) are expected to propel the value of this market to $843 million by 2016.
A big driver of the market is incentives, so GTM forecasts growth until the decrease of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in 2017. Given the way solar progresses, though, by then we hope there may be other factors in place to prop up this market.
The market is not a simple one. “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,” said report author Scott Moskowitz.
The 61-page report includes installation numbers, forecasts, state-by-state trends, system pricing, technology overviews, and competitive analysis.