US Energy Sector Slow During First Quarter

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Originally published on the ECOreport.

Office of Energy Projects  Energy Infrastructure Update  For March 2014

Though more than 50% of the new electrical installations during the first quarter of 2014 were solar, it is nothing to brag about. The numbers are down across the board. Even the number of solar projects is down, compared to last year.

Fossil fuels were especially hard hit. No no new coal or gas projects have started up. The number of natural gas units coming online shrank from 11 producing 359 MW during the first quarter of 2013, to a mere 2 facilities producing a mere 90 MW.

The number of hydro projects coming online dropped from 7, last year, to 2 in 2014.

There are more new wind projects, but they are smaller. Their installed capacity is less than half of what came online last year. Three were mentioned in the Energy Generation Highlights during February and there are also entries for January and March

The increase on this graph is for geothermal steam, which came onto the chart in January with the Patua Hot Springs Geothermal project in Lyon County, Nevada. The 30 MW of power it produces will be sold to Sacramento Municipal Utility District under a long-term contract.

The solar industry’s share of the market has increased, though the number of new installations has dropped from 66 in the first quarter of 2013 to 47 this year. The new installed capacity going from 877 MW to 584. A third of these projects were in California, another third in North Carolina and the rest were scattered around the rest of the country.

Eight projects went online in California:

  1. (130 MW) Antelope Valley Solar Phase II expansion project in Los Angeles County;
  2. (61 MW) Topaz Solar Farm Phase III expansion project in San Luis Obispo County,
  3. (40 MW) Recurrent Rosamond Solar, in Kern co.
  4. (5 MW) Recurrent Rio Grande, Kern Co.
  5. (10 MW) Recurrent Columbia 3 in Kern County;
  6. (18 MW)Recurrent Victor Phelan Solar One in San Bernardino County.
  7. (6 MW) Shasta Solar Farm project in Shasta County,
  8. (125 MW) Genesis Solar Energy Project Phase 2 in Riverside County

There were 9 listed in North Carolina:

  1.  (20 MW) Dogwood Solar Power project in Halifax County,
  2. (6 MW) Marshville Farm Solar project in Union County,
  3. (6.4 MW) Waco Farm Solar project in Cleveland County
  4. (6.4 MW) Nash 58 Farm in Nash County
  5. (5 MW) Wagstaff Farm I Solar project in Person County
  6. (5 MW) Garrell Solar Farm project in Columbus County
  7. (5 MW) Moore Solar Farm project in Rockingham County
  8. (5 MW) Daniel Farm Solar project in Davie County
  9. (5 MW) Roxboro Solar project in Person County, NC is online. The power generated is sold to Progress Energy Carolinas under long-term contract.

As regards the rest of the US:

  1. ( 20 MW) Mountain View Solar project in Clark County, NV
  2. (20 MW) Recurrent Gillespie 1 Solar project in Maricopa County, AZ
  3. (45 MW) Pioneer Generating Station Unit 2 project in Williams County, ND
  4. (75 MW) Pheasant Run Wind project in Huron County, Wisconsin
  5. (20 MW) Brahms Wind project in Curry County, NM
  6. (4 MW) Fort Hays State University Wind Farm project in Ellis County, KS
  7. (6 MW) Davis Monthan AFB Solar expansion project in Pima County, AZ
  8. (4 MW) Alamo II Solar project in Bexar County, TX
  9. (2 MW) Winchendon Solar project in Worcester County, MA

Businesses throughout the US experienced a slow first quarter. In many cases, the problem was weather.

“Freezing temperatures and mountains of snow in the first three months of 2014 kept shoppers indoors, grounded flights and made it harder for shippers to fill product orders,” one of Bloombergs columnists writes. “As a result, Macy’s Inc. shut 244 stores for at least part of January, Union Pacific Corp.’s trains ran 9 percent slower and Delta Air Lines Inc. canceled 8,000 flights in January and February.”

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Roy L Hales

is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the Cortes Currents (formerly the ECOreport), a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of British Columbia. He is a research junkie who has written over 2,000 articles since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.

Roy L Hales has 441 posts and counting. See all posts by Roy L Hales

10 thoughts on “US Energy Sector Slow During First Quarter

  • To add a positive observation.

    Q1 2013 installations of wind were sort-of all that was installed over 2013. Meaning, the other 3 quarters of 2013 saw almost 0 wind installations. So this is the best quarter since Q1 2013 and hopefully we will see the installation rate go up further in the rest of the year.

    In the mean time, the most silly article I’ve read in a long time: Solar Power Is Booming, But Will Never Replace Coal. Here’s Why.

    I really can’t believe someone is still pushing this CCS crap (not explicitly but you can read it between the lines). And then keep their hopes high by suggesting all this ‘clean coal’ can be had for a price that is only possible with old, dirty, written-off coal plants that everybody wants to see closed asap.

    • I saw that headline. Didn’t click through. 😛 Tired of debunking Forbes trash.

      • I started to sign in and comment but found others had already done a good job of pointing out the author’s foolishness.

        Steve Forbes has really damaged his father’s magazine. I used to use it for investment information. Wouldn’t touch it with a counterfeit Franklin these days.

    • It’s what the old subsidy system produced.

      Start the year with some uncertainty as to whether there will be support.

      Support announced. Must have the project up and running by December 31st.

      Turned wind farm construction into a sprint. Everyone crossing the finish line in the 4th Qtr.

    • Just saw this interest graphic on GMT. It’s what was under construction during the first quarter of this year. Wind is showing strong.

      • Let’s see if this version is easier to read…

        (Click on image to see larger version.)

        Wind is coming on strong. Wonder how solar will do as the year warms up?

  • US statistics, unlike German, British and Japanese ones. leave out distributed solar. The fragmented nature of the US market means that data on this are very hard to collect. But it would be better to add a guesstimate based on past trends, and correct later.

  • I advise to people that have stock.
    Sell coal, oil stock and save your money now you can,
    divest in coal and oil,
    and invest in Solar Power and Wind Power.
    endless supply of Dollars, for years to come.
    there is no end of Dollars blowing in.

  • How much of the slow down is attributable to efficiency and conservation gains? That would be more good news.

  • why is it that some people only look at the power plants that have been closed down ( or going to be closed ) and never say anything about all the new power that has been added to the grid and will be added ?

Comments are closed.