Adrienne Leverette is a principal at Fat Pencil Studio.
Since a fair amount of our work at Fat Pencil Studio is related to solar power, it sure does seem like there has been a marked increase in the installation of solar PV arrays in recent years. But it's always nice to have some well-presented data to confirm one's impressions, so I was excited to find the Open PV Project. This "collaborative effort between government, industry, and the public" has set out to compile a comprehensive database of PV installations in the US. Who knows how comprehensive it actually is, but even if it represents only a fraction of actual installations, it's pretty impressive. According to the real-time stats, as of this moment, there have been 177,262 PV installations since 2000. Plus, they've put together some rudimentary, but decent infographics to help express the data. My favorite is the time-mapper, which shows both the cumulative number of installations throughout the U.S. as well as the intensity of solar development at any point in time (since 2000). It's kind of relaxing to watch the heat map evolve. Not surprisingly, sunny California is the star of the show. Florida and the NE make strong appearances before the middle of the country comes into its own. And then there's Portland with its persistent blue dot, slowly but steadily contributing to the whole.