Solar Builder

SEP-OCT 2018

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

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SOLARBUILDERMAG.COM | 41 Nine key stats From the IHS Markit PV Structural Balance of System Report for North America In 2017, more than 11 GW of PV racking and mounting products were delivered in North America, a decline of over 20 per- cent from 2016 due to lower demand for ground-mounted products. The competitive landscape for PV struc- tural BoS in the United States experienced year-over-year consolidation in 2017, with the top 10 suppliers accounting for 85 percent of shipments for the year. NEXTracker, RBI Solar, Array Technologies, SunLink and IronRidge were the five largest suppliers and collec- tively accounted for over 60 percent of the market in 2017. The size of the PV structural BoS market in North America is forecast to surpass 74 GWdc from 2018 to 2022, with the ground-mounted segment accounting for 75 percent of demand. Demand for PV structural BoS products in the United States is forecast to peak from 2020 to 2021 before declining in 2022 due to the influence of the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Single-axis trackers have remained the dominant PV mounting product type in the United States, accounting for 56 per- cent of the ground-mounted segment in 2017 and are forecast to account for 69 percent of the segment from 2018 to 2022. The utility-scale PV ground-mount seg- ment is projected to experience even high- er attach rates for tracking systems, eclips- ing 81 percent by 2021. The strongest cost benefit of using single- axis trackers is in the Southwestern United States, but markets across the Western and Southeastern United States also provide attractive opportunities for tracking sys- tems compared to fixed-tilt, albeit the cost- benefit in such regions is weaker. The market for fixed-tilt PV systems has remained stable due to strong market share within the small megawatt-scale market (system sizes 1 to 20 MW ) and in key emerging utility-scale markets such as Florida associated with land types and seasonal conditions that are less conducive for tracking systems. Rooftop PV accounted for 3.6 GW of PV structural BoS shipments in 2017, primarily driven by demand for residential pitched-roof systems in the United States. Rail-less solutions lost market share in the pitched-roof segment in 2017 primarily due to the pull back of large rail-less customers such as SolarCity/ Tesla and Vivint Solar, though mul- tiple suppliers launched or experi- enced a higher sales volume for rail- less solutions during the year.

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