Power gen expected to grow 45.1 GW in U.S. this year

By Jack Burke10 January 2022

Natural gas to make up 21% of growth

The U.S. will add roughly 45.1 GW of new utility-scale electric generating capacity in 2022, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Of that, almost half of the planned additions are solar, followed by natural gas at 21% and wind at 17%.

According the EIA, U.S. utility-scale solar generating capacity will grow by 21.5 GW in 2022.

“This planned new capacity would surpass last year’s 15.5 GW of solar capacity additions, an estimate based on reported additions through October (8.7 GW) and additions scheduled for the last two months of 2021 (6.9 GW).”

Most planned solar additions in 2022 will be in Texas (6.1 GW, or 28% of the national total), followed by California (4.0 GW).

The EIA expects 9.6 GW of new natural gas-fired capacity to come online. Combined-cycle plants account for 8.1 GW of the planned capacity additions (over 84%), and combustion-turbine plants account for 1.4 GW. Almost all (88%) of the planned natural gas capacity is located in Ohio, Florida, Michigan and Illinois.

In 2021, a record 17.1 GW of wind capacity came online in the United States and another 7.6 GW of wind capacity is scheduled to come online in 2022. About half (51%) of the 2022 wind capacity additions are located in Texas. The 999 MW Traverse Wind Energy Center in Oklahoma, the largest wind project expected to come online in 2022, is scheduled to begin commercial operations in April.

The EIA expects U.S. utility-scale battery storage capacity to grow by 5.1 GW, or 84%, in 2022.

“Several factors have helped expand U.S. battery storage, including declining costs of battery storage, deploying battery storage with renewable generation, and adding value through regional transmission organization (RTO) markets,” the EIA reports.

Another 5% of the country’s planned electric capacity additions in 2022 will come from two new reactors at the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia. One of these reactors, Unit 3, was expected to come online in 2021, but the unit’s planned start date was delayed until June 2022 to allow additional time for construction and testing.

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