Developers set to add 44 gigawatts of new generation to the U.S. grid, EIA says
Energize Weekly, August 17, 2022
Fifteen gigawatts (GW) of new utility-scale electric generating capacity were added to U.S. grid in the first half of 2022, with another 29 GW projected to come online by year’s end, according to a survey by the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA).
At the same time, operators this year plan to retire 15.1 GW, equal to the capacity added in the first half of 2022, with the closing of coal-fired plants accounting for three-quarters of the shuttered capacity. Natural gas plants make up another 12 percent of the shutdowns and nuclear plants 9 percent.
Among the largest U.S. coal power plant retirements in 2022 were the 1,305-megawatt (MW) William H. Zimmer plant in Ohio, which retired in May, and the 1,205-MW Morgantown Generating Station in Maryland, which closed in June. The 769-MW Palisades nuclear power facility in Michigan also retired in June.
The largest share of new generation came from the addition of wind facilities – 5.2 GW, equal to 34 percent of all the new capacity for the first six months of the year. Texas accounted for 2.2 GW of installations, more than 40 percent of the wind capacity installed.
The largest renewable projects that came online in the first six months of 2022 include the 999-MW Traverse Wind Energy Center in Oklahoma, the 492-MW Maverick Creek wind farm in Texas, and the 440-MW solar and battery storage project at Slate Hybrid in California.
In 2021, a record 17.1 GW of wind generation was installed in the U.S.
After wind, natural gas, solar and battery storage made up the bulk of the remaining new capacity.
Solar projects account for almost half of the projected new installations – 13.6 GW – in the second half of 2022, followed by wind with 9 GW of added capacity, according to reports filed with the EIA by developers and project planners.
Many projects, as in previous years, plan to come online in December because of tax incentives, the EIA said. Those incentives are reduced in 2023.
“Respondents to our survey currently plan to add 3.7 GW less solar capacity in 2022 than what they had expected at the beginning of the year,” the EIA said. “Pandemic-related challenges in supply chains and a U.S. Department of Commerce tariff investigation are likely causes for this decrease.”
There is a total of 1,154 GW of generating capacity in the U.S, including: 497 GW of natural gas, 202 GW of coal, 138 GW of wind, 95 GW of nuclear, 80 GW of conventional hydropower, 66 GW of solar and 76 GW of other generating resources.