This article was published by the US Energy Information Administration on August 3, 2022.
By Suparna Ray, Owen Comstock
According to the EIA’s latest inventory of electric generators, 15 gigawatts (GW) of new utility-scale electric generating capacity came online in the United States during the first half of 2022. Based on the most recently reported plans, developers could add another 29 GW of capacity in the second half of the year.
Our Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory compiles information on all US utility-scale power plants (plants with a nameplate capacity of at least 1 megawatt [MW]) that are currently operating, planning to come online, or retired. The inventory includes all utility-scale plants that have retired since 2002.
We update this inventory once a month with preliminary data and then finalize that data annually with a survey that provides additional information about the power plants. Our Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory includes information through the preceding month; for example, the inventory published in July includes information through June.
Note: Utility-scale generating units are those with at least 1 megawatt of nameplate capacity.
Operating capacity: Wind generation accounts for the largest share, 34 per cent, of the 15.1 GW of capacity that came online in the United States during the first half of 2022, followed by natural gas, solar, and battery storage. More than 40 per cent of the wind capacity added so far in 2022 is located in Texas, 2.2 GW of the 5.2 GW wind total.
The largest renewable projects that came online in the first six months of 2022 include the 999 MW Traverse Wind Project in Oklahoma, the 492 MW Maverick Creek Wind in Texas, and the 440 MW solar and battery storage project at Slate Hybrid in California.
Planned capacity: Developers and project planners report plans to add 29.4 GW of new capacity in the United States in the second half of 2022. Nearly half of that planned capacity is from solar (13.6 GW), followed by wind (6.0 GW). As in previous years, many projects plan to come online in December because of tax incentives.
Respondents to our survey currently plan to add 3.7 GW less solar capacity in 2022 than what they had expected at the beginning of the year. Pandemic-related challenges in supply chains and a U.S. Department of Commerce tariff investigation are likely causes for this decrease.
Retired capacity: Of the 15.1 GW of electric generating capacity that US operators plan to retire during 2022, more than half (8.8 GW) was retired in the first half of the year. Coal-fired power plants will account for 76 per cent of the retirements this year, followed by natural gas (12 per cent) and nuclear (9 per cent).
The largest US coal power plant retirements in 2022 include the 1,305 MW William H. Zimmer plant in Ohio, which retired in May, and the 1,205 MW Morgantown Generating Station in Maryland, which retired in June. In addition, the 769 MW Palisades nuclear power facility in Michigan retired in June.