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California second to New Jersey in new US solar power installations

According to a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the number of solar system installations continues to increase across America. A record 506 megawatts were added over the first three months of 2012, the most of any single quarter to date. This year is predicted to see in excess of 3200 megawatts installed, equaling a 75 percent increase over 2011.

Among the details of the report are the states leading this push towards solar energy, and surprisingly, California is not number one. Instead, we take a back seat to New Jersey, which led all states in the first quarter of 2012 with 174 megawatts installed. California earned the second position with 148.4 MW. As reported by Treehugger, Arizona, Tennessee and Massachusetts round out the top five states, although they recorded far less than New Jersey or California.

“The U.S. solar industry continues to lead the U.S. out of difficult economic times,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA in a press release. “Installations have grown by 85 percent in the last year.  This growth is coming from consumers who are turning to solar to reduce their energy costs.  In states across the country, Americans are waking up to the realization that putting solar on your home or business is a better investment than the stock market.”

In the above video, Resch is interviewed at the 2011 PV America conference about how the Northeast and New Jersey in particular are leading the way as the solar market continues to grow and diversify across the country.