Solar, Battery Storage Projected to Meet 81% of New U.S. Electricity Generation

Solar and wind farm in a large field

(Credit: Unsplash)

by | Feb 20, 2024

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The Energy Information Administration has found that of the 62.8 gigawatts of utility-scale electricity capacity planned for 2024 in the United States, the greatest share of new developments will be solar projects, followed by battery storage.

According to the EIA’s Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory, planned solar projects will account for 55% of new electricity capacity for 2024, while battery storage will account for 23%. The overall addition of 62.8 GW represents 55% more added electricity capacity than last year, which saw 40.4 GW of total added capacity.

Solar is expected to experience record additions to the grid, provided the scheduled 36.4 GW are successfully deployed. The EIA said that supply chain challenges and trade restrictions have improved since last year, allowing solar to continue to outpace other electricity sources. Battery storage is also expected to set a record for annual capacity additions this year, with the IEA projecting storage capacity to nearly double.

Wind power projects represent the third largest contributor, making up 13% of planned electricity generation. The IEA highlights two major projects expected to come online in 2024, including the 800 megawatt Vineyard 1 project on the Massachusetts coast and the 130 MW South Fork project off the coast of New York.

Natural gas capacity is expected to reach its lowest levels in 25 years, with 2.5 GW of additions, representing 4% of new generation. Finally, nuclear additions will account for 2% of added capacity, all coming from the Vogtle Unit 4 in Georgia.

Texas, California Dominate Additions for Solar and Battery Storage

The large majority of new solar projects are taking place in Texas and California, with Texas representing 35% of overall added capacity and California with 10%. The two states also account for 82% of the overall new battery storage capacity planned for 2024.

Reports indicate that Texas’ incorporation of renewables has supported the state as it faced increased energy demand amidst extreme heat and uncharacteristically harsh winters. Earlier this year, Texas reached a milestone for solar energy generation, with a third of total electricity transmitted to the grid deriving from solar sources.

Along with continued robust solar energy generation, California also secured financing from the Department of Energy earlier this year to restore its nuclear energy facility, Diablo Canyon, which can provide nearly 10% of the state’s overall energy generation.

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