According to an analysis by the SUN DAY Campaign of data in the latest issue of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) “Energy Infrastructure Update” (with numbers through January 31, 2018), wind and solar accounted for all new electrical generation placed into service in the first month of this year.
Moreover, for the first time, the total installed capacity of renewable energy sources (biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) has surpassed a milestone — accounting for over one-fifth (20.39%) of total available U.S. generating capacity. Combined, wind and solar alone now exceed one-tenth (10.18%) of installed capacity.
FERC data show that 12 new “units” of wind, totaling 1,230 MW, came into service in January 2018 along with 11 units of solar (356 MW) for a total of 1,586 MW.
That is slightly more than the combined solar and wind total in January 2017, when 909 MW of wind and 623 MW of solar came online. However, then, there were also 1,454 MW of new gas capacity, 102 MW of new nuclear, and 1 MW each of new oil and biomass capacity. In January 2018, no new coal, gas, oil, nuclear, biomass, geothermal or hydropower capacity was reported.
The new wind capacity includes the 300-MW Red Dirt Wind Project (Kingfisher County, OK), 229-MW Magic Valley Wind Project (Willacy County, TX), 200-MW Red Pine Wind Project (Lincoln County, MN), and the 197-MW Bearkat Renewable Energy Project (Glasscock County, TX). The new solar capacity includes four new Florida Power & Light solar farms in Florida, each comprising 75 MW.
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