According to a recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, solar energy will account for 54% of all new electric-producing capacity in the U.S. by 2023.
According to the EIA’s Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory, which is how developers and power plant operators inform the agency about upcoming projects, developers plan to add 54.5 gigawatts of new utility-scale electric-generating capacity to the nation’s power grid this year, the majority of it being solar.
Following a recent reduction of 23% from 2022 compared to 2021, developers have around 29.1 gigawatts of utility-scale solar power planned for 2023. Solar energy-producing capacity had been increasing since 2010, but a dip last year was caused by supply chain difficulties and the epidemic.
According to the EIA, a significant portion of the electric-generating capacity for 2023 that will come from solar projects may be delayed projects from 2022.
According to EIA, if all of these projects are completed in time for 2023, this year will see the largest increase in utility-scale solar capacity in a single year. 13.4 gigawatts of utility-scale solar capacity added in 2021 currently hold the record.
Texas will have 7.7 gigawatts of additional solar capacity, with California coming in second with 4.2 gigawatts.
With 17% of projects planned for the year, battery storage represents the second-highest percentage of new utility-scale electric-generating capacity in the U.S. for 2023, after solar. The nation’s existing 8.8 gigawatts of battery storage power generating capacity will be increased by 9.4 gigawatts, according to developers.
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According to EIA, battery storage systems are being installed more frequently with wind and solar power installations. Due to their sporadic nature, wind and solar power only generate electricity when the wind or sun is present.
Batteries can store extra power produced by solar and wind sources for later use. In 2023, we predict that Texas and California, two states with large solar and wind potential, will account for 71% of the new battery storage capacity.
7.5 gigawatts of natural gas, with the two largest projects slated for Ohio and Illinois, 6.0 gigawatts of wind power, mostly slated for Texas, and 2.2 gigawatts of nuclear energy are some other utility-scale electric-generating capacity projects.
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Two new nuclear reactors have been constructed in the United States for the first time in more than 30 years, and they are anticipated to go online this year after a protracted delay of several years.
Only one offshore wind project, the South Fork Wind Plant off the coast of New York, is anticipated to start up operations this year, according to an EIA study from 2023.