USA: FERC Predicts Over 116 GW of New Wind and Solar, Continued Coal Retirements

Over 116 GW of new wind and solar capacity is expected to be installed in the United States through the end of 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission projected in its latest Energy Infrastructure Update. That total includes 72.5 GW of wind in 465 units and 43.5 GW of solar in 1,913 units. However, coal is expected to keep shrinking, with 20.7 GW of retirements in the same timeframe. The totals are based on proposed additions and retirements announced through November of last year, and only includes plants with capacities of 1 MW or greater. Even with the shift away from coal, FERC indicated 1,927 MW of new coal capacity in four new units has been proposed. And a small amount of renewable retirements is in the cards – 68 MW in two wind units, and two MW in five solar units. While wind and solar combined lead the list of new capacity, natural gas remains the single-largest power source to be added at 92.5 GW in 387 units. Though FERC’s report noted 3.2 GW of new nuclear in four new units are in development, only the two units at the Vogtle expansion are under construction. 5.6 GW in six units are projected to retire by 2020.