Washington D.C., October 24, 2012 — According to a report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects, 433 MW of new electrical generating capacity was added in the U.S. in September — all from solar and wind sources. The total consisted of five wind projects totaling 300 MW and 18 solar projects totaling 133 MW.
For the first nine months of 2012, 77 wind projects (4,055 MW), 154 solar projects (936 MW), 76 biomass projects (340 MW), 7 geothermal projects (123 MW), 10 water power projects (9 MW), and 1 waste heat project (3 MW) have come online.
Collectively, these total 43.8 percent of all new generating capacity added since the beginning of 2012. By comparison, new natural gas capacity additions since January 1, 2012 totaled 61 projects (4,587 MW) or 36.8 percent while 3 new coal projects added 2,276 MW (18.3 percent). Nuclear and oil represented just 1 percent and 0.1 percent of new capacity additions respectively.
The new renewable energy generating capacity added in 2012 represents a 29 percent increase over the level recorded for the same period in 2011. Renewable energy sources now account for 14.9 percent of all installed U.S. electrical generating capacity.
The FERC report follows the earlier release of the most recent “Electric Power Monthly” report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration which finds that non-hydro renewables accounted for 5.4 percent of net electrical generation for the first seven months of 2012 — a level nearly double that recorded in 2008 (the year immediately before the Obama Administration took office). Combined with conventional hydropower, renewable energy sources for the period January 1 – July 31, 2012 accounted for more than 13.0 percent of net U.S. electrical generation.