LNG tanker - courtesy US Coast Guard

Most New US installations are Wind, Solar or Natural Gas

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1The energy infrastructure figures for May are out. Renewables account for around 88% of all new installations, but that figure is deceptive. The fastest growing sector is still natural gas, which accounted for 46% of all new installations this year. Solar (29%) and wind (22%) followed. Most New US installations are Wind, Solar or Natural Gas.

New US installations in 2014, derived from FERC data  - Roy L Hales
New US installations in 2014, derived from FERC data – Roy L Hales

Conventional industries like coal, nuclear and oil have all flatlined, in terms of new installations.

Coal is no longer “king” of America’s energy capacity either. That title passed to natural gas, which now accounts for 42% of the total. Coal should sink to the status of America’s #2 energy source, followed by nuclear energy.

If the renewable sector is calculated as a group, their combined capacity is 16.28% and easily passes that of nuclear energy. More than half of that is hydropower. The next large segment is wind energy (5.26%).

A number of renewable energy plants came online in May:

  • Imperial Valley Solar 1 LLC’s 99 MW Imperial Valley solar project in Imperial County, CA is online. The power generated is sold to San Diego Gas & Electric under long-term contract.
  • Macho Springs LLC’s 48.5 MW Macho Springs Energy solar project in Luna County, NM is online. The power generated is sold to El Paso Electric Company under long-term contract.
  • Western Massachusetts Electric Co’s 4 MW Indian Orchard Solar Facility project in Hampden County, MA is online.
  • City of Lemoore’s 3 MW City of Lemoore solar project in Kings County, CA is online. Kearsarge Barre 1 LLC’s 2 MW Kearsarge Barre 1 solar project in Worcester County, MA is online.
  • Prairie Breeze Wind Energy LLC’s 201 MW Prairie Breeze Wind Energy Farm in Antelope, Boone, and Madison Counties, NE is online. The power generated is sold to Omaha Public Power District under long-term contract.
  • Huerfano River Wind LLC’s 2 MW Huerfano River Wind Phase 2 expansion project in Huerfano County, CO is online. The power generated is sold to San Isabel Electric Association Inc. under long-term contract.
  • Green Power Electric Membership Corp’s 4.8 MW Pecan Row Landfill Energy project in Lowndes County, GA is online. The power generated will serve Green Power’s membership.
Total capacity, from Ferc data - Roy L Hales
Total capacity, from Ferc data – Roy L Hales

(Image at top of page: LNG tanker – courtesy US Coast Guard)

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