Solar and battery storage account for 81 percent of planned 62.8 GW electric capacity growth this year

Published on February 21, 2024 by Chris Galford

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Looking ahead, 62.8 GW of new utility-scale electric generating capacity is planned for the United States this year, and the bulk of it will be either solar or battery storage, according to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

In its Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory, the administration determined the industry is set to add the most capacity since 2003, as developers push their activities to new heights. Of planned capacity, solar should make up 58 percent, or 36.4 GW, while battery storage will account for another 23 percent, or 14.3 GW. Wind (8.2 GW), natural gas (2.5 GW) and even nuclear (1.1 GW), will also see some growth this year.

Most of these deployments will happen in the first half of the year. After June, numbers will slack a bit until a massive surge of additional December deployments ends the year on a high note.

As it stands, the solar growth would more than double last year’s increase, which was already a record for annual utility-scale solar installation in the U.S. More than half of this will take place in three states: Texas (35 percent), California (10 percent) and Florida (6 percent). Yet the largest solar facility in the country will also go live this year outside those states, with 690 MW of solar power and 380 MW of battery storage for Nevada.

Battery storage should also see a banner year, nearly doubling capacity. Again, Texas and California will lead the pack there.

As for the other major renewable – wind – it will be a slower year compared to the record additions of the pandemic period, but notably, two large offshore wind plans should come online this year off Massachusetts and New York. Combined, they should bring on 930 MW of power.