In the first six months of 2014, 4,350 megawatts (MW) of new utility-scale generating capacity came online, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Electric Power Monthly.
Natural gas plants, almost all combined-cycle plants, made up more than half of the additions, while solar plants contributed more than a quarter and wind plants around one-sixth.
Utility-scale capacity additions in the first half of 2014 were 40% less than the capacity additions in the same period last year. Natural gas additions were down by about half, while solar additions were up by nearly 70%. Wind additions in the first half of 2014 were more than double the level in the first half of 2013.
Of the states, Florida added the most capacity (1,210 MW), all of it natural gas combined-cycle capacity. California, with the second-largest level of additions, added just under 1,100 MW, of which about 77% was solar and 21% was wind, with the remaining additions from natural gas and other sources. Utah and Texas combined for another 1,000 MW, nearly all of it natural gas combined-cycle capacity with some solar and wind capacity in Texas.
Additions of combined-cycle plants (2,179 MW) were up by 60% compared to the same period last year and include the new Riviera plant (1,212 MW) in Florida, expansions at the Lake Side Power Plant (629 MW) in Utah, and the Channel Energy Center (183 MW) and the Deer Park Energy Center (155 MW), both in Texas. Significantly less combustion turbine capacity was added in first-half 2014 (131 MW) compared to the same period last year (3,115 MW).
Press Release, September 10, 2014; Image: EIA