Energy Storage, Less Widespread Renewables Provide Four Percent of U.S. Capacity

By Editors of Power Engineering

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has estimated energy storage and renewable fuels other than hydro, wind and solar together provide four percent of electric capacity in the United States.

As of the end of last year, 195 utility-scale geothermal units were in operation, totaling 3.7 GW. The largest cluster of these are the Geysers complex in Northern California, which has a capacity of 943 MW.

Wood and wood waste biomass makes up the largest share of biomass at 10.2 GW of capacity. Municipal solid waste, landfill gas and other waste biomass have capacities of 2.2 GW, 2.12 GW and 0.8 GW respectively.

California leads the nation in hydroelectric pumped storage, geothermal, landfill gas and battery capacity, while Florida leads in municipal solid waste. Virginia’s Bath County is the site of a 3 GW hydreoelectric pumped storage plant, which is the largest in the nation. All geothermal capacity is located in seven states in the western United States, while landfill gas and wood waste generators are in 44 states and 32 states respectively.

Nearly all currently operating batteries and flywheels were added after 2010. Battery storage now totals 540 MW, with half located in California, Illinois and West Virginia. Nearly all of the nation’s 44 MW of flywheel storage are located in New York and Pennsylvania. 

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