Nuclear, Renewables, Wind

U.S. Electric Generation Grows at Fastest Rate in Five Years

By Editors of Power Engineering

Utilities added more than 27 GW of generating capacity to the U.S. power grid in 2016, which is the largest jump in new capacity since 2012.

The study from the U.S. Energy Information Administration said the additions more than doubled the retirement of nearly 12 GW of capacity. The resulting 15 GW capacity gain is the largest change since 2011, and follows a net decrease of 4GW in 2015.

Renewable energy made up the most additions, with 8.7 GW of wind and 7.7 GW of solar making up more than 60 percent of new capacity. Solar’s 2016 development was a record.

Natural gas additions reached of 9 GW, or 33 percent of the total. New coal was less than 1 GW, the same as the previous four years. Watts Bar Unit 2, the first nuclear plant to come online since 1996, added 1 GW of nuclear capacity by itself.