Wind, solar lead new generation in Jan. 2016

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wind and solar projects accounted for all new electric power generation placed in service in the U.S. in January 2016, according to a report by federal energy regulators.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects releases a monthly Energy Infrastructure Update.  These reports provide summary data and narrative highlights of energy infrastructure developments in the past month.  Energy Infrastructure Update reports typically cover natural gas, nonfederal hydropower, electric generation, and electric transmission.

The report for January 2016 shows that all tracked electric generation placed in service that month was powered by either wind or solar.  The report notes 5 wind projects placed in service in January 2016, with a total installed capacity of 468 megawatts. These projects are:
  • MidAmerican Energy Co.’s 153.4 MW Adams Wind Project in Adams County, Iowa
  • Fowler Ridge IV Wind Farm LLC’s 150 MW Amazon Wind Farm Expansion Project in Benton County, Indiana -- developed by Pattern Energy; power generated is sold to Amazon Web Services under long-term contract
  • Los Vientos Windpower IV LLC’s 110 MW Los Vientos Windpower Phase 2 Expansion Project in Starr County, Texas -- power generated is sold to Bryan Texas Utilities, Garland Power and Light, and Greenville Electric Utility System under long-term contract
  • Milo Wind Project LLC’s 50 MW Milo Wind Project in Roosevelt County, New Mexico -- power generated is sold to Southwestern Public Service Co. under long-term contract
  • Patriot Renewables LLC’s 4.5 MW Beaver Ridge Hill Wind Project in Waldo County, Maine
The report also covers 6 solar projects totaling 145 megawatts of installed capacity placed in service.  Notably, it does not include plants with nameplate capacity less than 1 megawatt, so most rooftop and distributed solar projects were excluded from this data set.

The January 2016 infrastructure update also notes that a battery storage project in Ohio has come online.  Willey Battery Utility LLC’s Willey Battery Storage Project in Hamilton County, Ohio is described as providing supply-demand balancing service for the frequency regulation market in the PJM region.  Under FERC Order No. 755, battery storage and other innovative technologies can be compensated for offering frequency regulation to the grid.

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