Solar represents over 80% of U.S. electric capacity additions in 2024

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its Energy Infrastructure Update, issuing data through April 2024 for projects interconnected to utility electric grids.

Solar installed a cumulative 7,899 MW in January through April 2024, representing 80.5% of capacity additions. Wind followed with 1,825 MW, while natural gas added 67 MW of capacity through the first four months of the year.

In April, solar added 1,374 MW to the grid, representing 63.7% of all capacity added. Wind followed with 737 MW added, while 16 MW of natural gas was interconnected with the grid.

Despite its domination of new project queues and activations, renewable energy has a long ramp of growth ahead of it if the United States is to achieve its goals of decarbonizing the energy sector. FERC reports that natural gas has the largest share of the energy mix with 564.5 GW (44%). This is followed by coal (16%), wind (12%), solar (9%) Nuclear (8%), and hydropower (8%). Oil, biomass, geothermal and waste heat combine for about 4% of the energy mix.

Looking ahead, for a short-term outlook of new capacity additions from May 2024 through April 2027, FERC expects solar to add the most capacity by a wide margin. FERC defines capacity additions in two buckets, all additions (including proposed projects) and high probability additions (projects that are further along the development cycle and very likely to be approved and constructed).

For high probability additions, solar leads the way with 88,195 MW expected. This is followed by wind with 23,919 MW, and natural gas with 13,280 MW. All other generation sources are expected to add 400 MW or less, with zero nuclear energy capacity additions expected.

As for retired capacity over the next three years, about 20,177 MW of coal, among most emitting source of electricity, is expected to be retired. Additionally, 17,103 MW of natural gas capacity is expected to come offline, leading to a net decline of 3,823 MW. About 2,043 MW of oil capacity is expected to be retired.

FERC reported that 128.2 miles of transmission lines with voltages from 230 V to 500 V was constructed thus far this year. Through September 2026, FERC expects 2,056.2 miles of high-probability transmission lines to be added.

Below are highlights of project additions as reported by FERC:

  • FGE Goodnight I LLC’s 258.1 MW Goodnight Wind Energy Project in Armstrong County, TX is online.
  • AES Clean Energy Development LLC’s 216.0 MW wind powered Chevelon Butte Phase 2 in Coconino County, AZ is online.
  • Ranchland Wind Project II LLC’s 148.0 MW Anchor Storage & Wind I – II Expansion in Callahan County, TX is online.
  • Ranchland Wind Project LLC’s 114.9 MW Anchor Storage & Wind I – II Expansion in Callahan County, TX is online.
  • Sparta Solar LLC’s 250.0 MW Sparta Solar (TX) Project in Bee County, TX is online.
  • Hardy Hills Solar Energy LLC’s 195.0 MW Hardy Hills Solar Project in Clinton County, IN.•Sky Ranch Solar LLC’s 190.0 MW Sky Ranch Solar & Storage Project in Valencia County, NM is online.
  • Zier Solar LLC’s 163.0 MW Zier Solar & Storage Project in Kinney County, TX is online. •South Cheyenne Solar LLC’s 150.0 MW South Cheyenne Solar Project in Laramie County, WY is online.
  • Cane Creek Solar LLC’s 78.5 MW Cane Creek Solar LLC in Clarke County, MS is online.
  • Misenheimer Solar LLC’s 74.4 MW Misenheimer Solar Project in Stanly County, NC is online. The power generated is sold to Duke Energy Carolinas under long-term contract.
  • Foxhound Solar LLC’s 71.0 MW Foxhound Solar Project in Halifax County, VA is online.
  • Castle Solar LLC’s 40.0 MW Castle Solar LLC in Emery County, UT is online. The power generated is sold to the University of Utah under long-term contract.
  • Hayhurst Texas Solar LLC’s 24.8 MW Hayhurst Texas Solar Project in Culberson County, TX is online.
  • Cottontail Solar 8 LLC’s 20.0 MW Cottontail Solar 8 Project in York County, PA is online.
  • Spectrum Solar LLC’s 8.6 MW Spectrum Solar (MD) Project in Prince Georges County, MD is online.
  • ASA DeKalb NY Solar III LLC’s 7.4 MW ASA DeKalb NY Solar III LLC in Saint Lawrence County, NY is online.
  • Casco Standish Solar LLC’s 6.7 MW Casco Standish Solar LLC in Cumberland County, ME is online.
  • Beaver Dam Solar 1 LLC’s 6.2 MW solar powered Beaver Dam (NY) Project in Albany County, NY is online. The power generated is sold to Southern Co Services Inc under long-term contract.
  • Elk Solar LLC’s 5.0 MW solar powered Elk Project in Hoke County, NC is online.

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