Over the next four years, 5.7 GW of utility-scale solar PV projects is expected to be built in the U.S. and another 1.3 GW in Canada for a total of 7 GW. Both amounts represent a significantly larger volume than what has been installed to date and is expected to be the dominating type of solar installation for that period of time. Yet, 7 GW only represent a fraction of the total capacity of large-scale solar PV projects initiated and under development in the same period, illustrating that solar project development still is a high-risk undertaking.
The reasons so few projects materialize are many; ranging from inexperience at the hand of the developer, to site specific problems, technical issues, regulatory problems and permitting issues — all affect the financial and technical viability of a project. In the end, failure to develop projects at some point in the development process comes at considerable cost for the project developer as well as the solar industry as a whole