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Southwestern states have better solar resources and higher solar PV capacity factors

On average, utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the United States operated at about 25% of their electricity generating capacity, based on an average of annual values from 2014 through 2017. This measurement, known as a plant’s capacity factor, is based on the plant’s electricity generation as a percentage of its summer capacity value for plants with a full-year of operation, as expressed in terms of alternating current (AC) power. States in the Southwest United States tend to have better solar resources—and higher capacity factors—than those in the Southeast or Northeast.