Solar power = 60% of new US power capacity in June

Clean power

Published on September 11, 2020 |
By Zachary Shahan

September 11, 2020 by Zachari Shahan

100% new power capacity in USA from renewables in June

Solar energy continues to grow in the United States. In the month of June, 60.1% of the new power added in the country was from solar power plants. Another 37.5% was from wind power plants. And 2.4% was from hydroelectricity. If you did a quick math on that, it means that 100% of new power capacity came from renewable energy sources in June. (Toggle the dropdown button in the interactive chart below, as well as the January-June 2020, January-June 2019 charts and see the total installed capacity in the United States.)

Together, in the first 6 months of the year, 27.3% of new electricity came from solar, 29.4% from wind, 0.4% from hydropower and 42.7% from natural gas. Therefore, June was clearly more renewable-friendly than the first half of the year, and the solar in particular was shining brightly (simple sentence intended). Nevertheless, in the first half of 2020, renewable energy has been attributed to slightly more than 57% of America’s new electricity capacity.

Here is a list of renewable energy projects that went online in June 2020:

  • 200.1 MW Reading Wind Project to Southern Power in Lyon County, KS.
  • Texas Wind LLC’s 179.8 MW RTS 2 Wind Project in McCulloch County, TX.
  • Prospero Energy Project LLC’s 300.0 MW Prospero Solar Project in Andrews County. The power generated is sold under a long-term contract to Shell Energy North America US LP.
  • Wagyu Solar LLC’s 121.9 MW Wagyu Solar Project in Brazoria County, TX.
  • Harmony Florida Solar LLC’s 74.5 MW Harmony Florida Solar Project in Osola County, FL.
  • Taylor Creek Solar LLC’s 74.5 MW Taylor Creek Solar Project in Orange County, Taylor.
  • CS Energy LLC’s 14.5 MW Brooks County Solar Project Brooks County, TX.
  • 10.9 MW Maynard County Solar Project of CS Energy LLC, Maynard County, TX.
  • CS Energy LLC’s 7.3 MW McLennan County Solar Project in Mc Energy County, TX.
  • East Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc. The 24.0 MW Lake Livingston Hydroelectric Project No. 12632 is placed in service. The project is located on the Trinity River, in San Jacinto, Polk, Trinity, and Walker counties, TX.
  • FFP Project 101, LLC filed a license application for the 1,200 MW Goldendale Pumped Storage Project Number 14861. The project will be located off-stream of the Columbia River in Clickit County, WA and Sherman County, OR.
  • Georgia Power Company filed an application to increase the capacity of its North Georgia project number 2354 from 168.400 to 173.200 MW. The project is located on the Tallullah, Chattoga and Tuglo rivers in Rabun, Habersum, and Stephens County, GA, and Okony County, SC.
  • Scott’s Mill Hydro, LLC filed a waiver application for 4.500 MW Scott’s Mill Hydroelectric Project No. 14867. The project is located on the James River in Bedford and Amherst counties, VA.

Naturally, power generation The ability There is no electricity generation. I will do a separate report on electricity generation.

Why is solar energy increasing?

If you are studying CleanTechnica In recent weeks (or recent years), you know the most likely reason why solar power continues to rise in the power efficiency chart. The cost of solar panels is decreasing year after year and even quarterly. As I recently wrote, “Solar PV panels were 12 × more expensive in 2010, 459 × more expensive in 1977.” The cost of solar panels has been rolled off a cliff.

For both large-scale projects (represented above) and rooftop solar, US solar panels are still well above the global average due to the Sino-American trade war and specific tariffs placed on some low-cost solar panels produced abroad But they are lower than they were in previous years.

Source: US Energy Information Administration, Annual Solar Photovoltaic Module Shipment Report

In general, large-scale solar power plants have become so cheap that when it comes to new bulk power capacity, it is a scarce energy option that is less than solar, and it is a solar energy market in the US and abroad. Contributes most to capacity addition. Portugal received a new record-low solar price bid of $ 1.3 W / kWh in August, and there are new US solar power plants with a slightly higher per-kilowatt-hour cost. In fact, utility-scale solar power has become so cheap that it is becoming cheaper to build new solar power plants than to get electricity from old / existing fossil fuel and nuclear power plants, and the realization is growing Solar and wind power capacity is indeed the cheapest plan for the future of our electricity grid.

The utility industry may be a slow-moving industry with a terawatt of inertia, but it is not a stupid industry. Expect coal power, nuclear power and even natural gas power plants to go out of style to keep solar power capacity strong.

Note that the above capacity figures – both capacity and total capacity – are not the same as power generation. You can have a capacity of 1000 gigawatts which does not produce one gigawatt-hour of electricity. Many factors affect how much power is actually generated from a power plant of any source. An upcoming report will cover electricity The generation In America.

Do not forget about rooftop solar power

Tesla Solar Panel Car App

In addition to the utility-scale solar portion of the story (represented in FERC data), the rooftop solar side of the story (not represented in FERC data) is increasingly compelling. Tesla has dramatically cut the cost of rooftop solar installations by cutting various “soft costs” and reducing hardware, installation costs, and consumer costs as a small benefit to Tesla – I have something special on that, Elon Musk’s quotes on the subject, so stay tuned. (And note that if you want to go solar with Tesla and need a referral code for the $ 100 rebate, you are free to use mine: Right now There are also permitted costs (including time)). Certain jurisdictions can be cut to bring the price down further, but this is a matter for local policy makers unless the US government takes a leadership role at some point Takes and implements a nationwide solar permitting policy that helps streamline the process and cut costs. .

Whether it is solar power competition with retail electricity prices or utility-scale solar power competition with other power plants in the wholesale power market, solar is winning. It is winning more and more of the market. I wonder what the share of new capacity and power generation will be in 2025 and 2030.

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Tags: Tesla, Tesla Solar, US Electricity Capacity Reports, US Solar Energy

About the Author

Zachary is Shahan Trinin to help the society at one time. He spends most of his time here CleanTechnica As its director, chief editor and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy and energy storage specialist. He has presented about Cleantech at conferences in India, UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, USA, Canada and Curacao. Zach has a long-term investment in NIO [NIO], Tesla [TSLA], And Xpeng [XPEV]. But he does not provide any type of investment advice (explicitly or implicitly).

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