Solar expected to be largest source of U.S. new generating capacity in 2022


The Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects 46.1 GW of new utility-scale electric generating capacity to be added to the U.S. power grid in 2022. Nearly half (46%) of which will be solar, followed by natural gas (21%) and wind (17%). The data is assembled by the EIA in a series of monthly and annual electric generator surveys, which ask developers to share their planned activation dates for projects in a five-year horizon.

Utility-scale solar Is projected to grow by 21.5 GW this year. The planned capacity marks significant growth from 2021’s 15.5 GW of capacity additions, an estimate based on the 8.7 GW of solar additions through October this year, and scheduled additions for the last two months of 2021 (6.9 GW).

Image: EIA

Texas is expected to lead all states in utility-scale development this year, with 6.1 GW on the way, representing 28% of the national total. California is expected to add roughly 4 GW of generating capacity this year.

California’s development could speed up some, as the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a mandate to attach an additional 11.5 GW of renewable energy to the grid by 2025. Community choice aggregators in the state are actively requesting proposals for projects containing solar and long duration energy storage of eight hours or more.

The EIA expects a sharp, 84%, increase in battery energy storage this year, with 5.1 GW of capacity expected to come online. Declining costs, co-deployment with renewable generation, and added value through regional transmission organization markets are driving growth in the technology, said EIA.

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