Powering Strong Communities

U.S. Power Grid Added 15 GW Of Utility-Scale Generating Capacity In First Half Of 2022

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) on August 3 reported that 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, it said.

EIA’s Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory compiles information on all U.S. 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.

EIA updates this inventory once a month with preliminary data and then finalizes that data annually with a survey that provides additional information about the power plants.

With respect to operating capacity, EIA reported that wind generation accounts for the largest share, 34%, 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% of the wind capacity added so far in 2022 is located in Texas, 2.2 GW of the 5.2 GW wind total.

In terms of planned capacity, developers and project planners reported 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 EIA’s 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, the agency said.

As for retired capacity, of the 15.1 GW of electric generating capacity that U.S. 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% of the retirements this year, followed by natural gas (12%) and nuclear (9%).