According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) office of energy projects, wind and solar accounted for all new generating capacity placed into service in April. In addition to six new units of solar totaling 50 MW of installed capacity, wind contributed 300 MW from the Hereford-2 Wind Farm Project and 211 MW from Mesquite Creek Wind Project. Both wind farms are located in Texas.
Further, FERC says wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower combined have provided 84.1% of the 1,900 MW of new U.S. electrical generating capacity placed into service during the first third of 2015. This includes 1,170 MW of wind (61.5%), 362 MW of solar (19.1%), 45 MW of geothermal steamÂ (2.4%) and 21 MW of hydropower (1.1%). The balance was provided by five natural gas units.
According to the SUN DAY Campaign, FERC has reported no new capacity for the year to date from biomass sources, nor any from coal, oil or nuclear power.
FERC reports renewable energy sources now account for 17.05% of total installed operating generating capacity in the U.S.: water – 8.55%, wind – 5.74%, biomass – 1.38%, solar – 1.05% and geothermal steam – 0.33%.
Renewable energy capacity is now greater than that of nuclear (9.14%) and oil (3.92%) combined. In fact, the installed capacity of wind power alone has now surpassed that of oil. In addition, total installed operating generating capacity from solar has now reached and surpassed the 1% threshold – a 10-fold increase since December 2010.
‘Members of Congress and state legislators proposing to curb support for renewable energy, such as renewable portfolio/electricity standards and the federal production tax credit and investment tax credit, are swimming against the tide,’ notes Ken Bossong, executive director of the SUN DAY Campaign. ‘With renewable energy's clear track record of success and the ever-worsening threat of climate change, now is not the time to pull back from these technologies but rather to greatly expand investments in them.’