US adds record 3.86 GW of wind, solar, batteries in Q1 – Renewables Now

May 14 (Renewables Now) – The US brought live a record-breaking 3,859 MW of clean power capacity in the first quarter, reaching all-time highs for both onshore wind and solar, according to data by the American Clean Power Association (ACP).

The new capacity additions are 10% higher than in the year-ago period when 3,519 MW was installed, shows ACP’s latest clean power quarterly market report. Those brought the country’s cumulative installed clean power capacity to more than 173,032 MW, the bulk of which comes from wind farms totalling 125,422 MW. Solar photovoltaic (PV) parks contribute 45,873 MW, followed by battery storage with 1,736 MW.

A total of 38 projects were commissioned across 17 states in the first quarter. Regionally, Texas heads the ranking with 791 MW of new capacity, while Oklahoma and California put on stream 555 MW and 519 MW, respectively. Other states in the top-five list are South Dakota with 462 MW of new installs and North Dakota with 229 MW.

“These numbers add up to one word: momentum. We are already exceeding the pace from the strongest previous year ever for clean power,” said Heather Zichal, ACP’s CEO. “This trend will only grow when more closely aligned with smart policy in Washington.”

At 2,561 MW, wind capacity additions grew 40% year-on-year as a large number of projects originally planned to be switched in the preceding quarter were delayed. The largest plant in this category is Duke Energy’s 355-MW Frontier II park in Oklahoma.

A total of 1,197 MW of utility-scale PV plants went live, which brought the total operation solar capacity in the US to 45,828 MW. California led the quarterly additions with 357 MW, representing 30% of total online activity.

In the storage segment, 101 MW of new systems were commissioned, lifting the country’s total to 1,736 MW.

At end-March, the US had 85,450 MW of projects in the near-term development pipeline, including 37,719 MW under construction and 47,731 MW in advanced development. The largest share in the pipeline is taken by solar, with roughly 44,000 MW of projects in the near-term pipeline, while around 35,000 MW comes from wind schemes.


May 14, 2021 susan ward