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US Large-Scale Renewables Account For More Than 60% Of New Capacity

New figures reveal that US utility-scale renewable energy projects accounted for more than 60% of new energy capacity installed throughout the first three quarters of 2015.

In new figures released by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in its monthly Energy Infrastructure Update (PDF), it was revealed that renewable energy sources — including biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, and wind — accounted for 60.20% of the total 7,276 MW of new electrical generation installed in the US during the first 9 months of 2015.

Wind alone made up 40.76% of all new capacity so far this year, with 2,966 MW of new generating capacity spread out over 26 new projects.

Second, among renewable energy technologies, was utility-scale solar, with 1,137 MW over 142 projects. Biomass was third, with 205 MW spread over 16 projects; geothermal steam fourth, with a 45 MW project; and hydropower fifth, with 27 MW across 18 projects.

“With Congress and numerous states now questioning the ability of renewable energy sources to meet targets called for in the Administration’s new Clean Power Plan (CPP), the explosive growth of wind, solar, biomass, hydropower, and geothermal in recent years confirms that it can be done,” noted Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “In fact, the latest FERC data suggest that the CPP’s goals are unduly modest and renewables will handily surpass them.”

Wind dominated even in the month of September alone, with 3 projects (or units, as FERC labels them) totalling 448 MW.

The three projects that came online during September were the 211 MW Rattlesnake Den Wind project, located in Glasscock County, in Texas; the 211 MW Logans Gap Wind project, located in Comanche County, Texas; and the smaller 25.6 MW Saddleback Ridge Wind Phase 2 Expansion Project, located in Franklin County, Maine.

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