The Arizona Daily Star (Associated Press)
Solar panel installations in the U.S. grew 76 percent in 2012 as the cost of panels and the surrounding equipment continued to fall, according to an annual report by a solar trade group.
California led the nation in installations in 2012, with 1,033 megawatts, followed by Arizona with 710 megawatts and New Jersey with 415, according to the report issued by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research.
The U.S. installed panels capable of producing 3,313 megawatts of peak electricity, up from 1,887 megawatts in 2011, the report said. The panels installed last year will generate about the same amount of electricity over a year as a medium-sized coal plant, enough to power 400,000 U.S. homes.