Staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have released a report describing the portfolio of new or expanded electric power generation capacity built in the U.S. in 2015.
FERC's Office of Energy Projects releases regular reports on energy infrastructure permitting and development. Its Energy Infrastructure Update for December 2015 presents a look at highlights of natural gas, nonfederal hydropower, electric generation, and electric transmission projects developed in the final month of 2015. The December report also provides a cumulative look at 2015 activity, along with comparisons to 2014.
According to the December 2015 report, solar accounted for the most generation units placed in service in 2015, with 248 projects. (The report only covers plants with nameplate capacity of 1 megawatt or greater, so smaller, distributed, behind-the-meter, or net-metered projects might not be counted here.) On the basis of megawatts of capacity installed in 2015, solar ranked third behind wind and natural gas.
Wind took second place in terms of number of projects placed in-service in 2015 with 69 listed "units", but took first place in terms of installed capacity with nearly 8 gigawatts placed in service last year.
Natural gas took third place in terms of both number of units installed (50) and megawatts of capacity added (nearly 6 gigawatts). Solar, wind, and natural gas together accounted for nearly 97% of all new capacity installed in the U.S. in 2015. Biomass and hydropower placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in both lists.
The report also shows a comparison to 2014, when new capacity installed was led by the same three generation types -- natural gas, wind, and solar.