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Thursday, March 23, 2023

US solar capacity will double in three years

According to FERC data, solar power was at the forefront with 6.7 GW installed in the nine months of this year.

In its most recent Energy Infrastructure Update, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reported an increase in electricity capacity during the first nine months of 2022. Renewable energy, including solar, wind, hydro, biomass and geothermal, has reached new heights, now representing 27%. Of all production capacity in the United States.

FERC keeps track of projects in queue. Those that have progressed to the stage of development where they are most likely to be completed are considered “high-probability additions”. Through 2025, FERC expects solar power to lead the way in America’s energy development.

Solar power has 72 GW of high-potential additions in the queue by 2025. This will add 77 GW of active solar capacity to the current grid, effectively doubling solar power in three years.

An estimated 77 GW of solar power accounts for the largest share of 110 GW of high-probability additions, followed by wind power, which adds 18 GW more gas, with a forecast of 17 GW.

Overall, 206 GW of projects are in the pipeline, but some will be speculative and others may run into interconnection approval issues or be delayed beyond 2025.

In terms of deployment, Solar led the way with 6.51 GW added from January to September, although this was down from 9.5 GW deployed in the nine months last year. Wind power was followed by 6.3 GW, surpassing natural gas, which added 6 GW in nine months of the year.

As part of the network’s total capacity, wind now represents 11.23%, hydroelectricity 8.05%, solar 6.14%, biomass 1.22% and geothermal 0.32%. The group contributes 27% of all capacity, nearly double its representation ten years ago, when it supplied less than 15% of the grid’s generation capacity. Natural gas remains the major source of electricity generation, burning to supply 44% of the US grid’s capacity.

Capacity retirement has been led by the fossil fuel category. Of the 41 GW extracted this year, 19 GW was from coal and 17.5 GW was from natural gas. Solar power has been the only technology that hasn’t unleashed utility-scale potential this year.

FERC highlighted the activations of some of the major projects this year, including

150 MW Wood County Solar Project in Wisconsin
275 MW Noble Solar and Storage Project in Texas
9.4 MW Solar Ozark Project in Arkansas
7.1 MW Canal Road Solar Project in New Jersey
5.0 MW West Haydenville PJ Solar Project in Massachusetts
Uniqlo 5.0 MW Solar Project in New Jersey

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World Nation News Desk
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