The US Energy Information Administration forecasts that in 2022, 46.1 GW of new utility-scale electric generating capacity will be added to the USA’s power grid. The prediction comes from the EIA’s ‘Preliminary Monthly electric Generator Inventory’. Almost half of the planned 2022 capacity additions are solar, followed by natural gas at 21% and wind at 17%. The information comes from developers and power plant owners in regular reports to the EIA about planned additions.
EIA expects US utility-scale solar generating capacity to grow by 21.5 GW in 2022, exceeding last year’s 15.5 GW of additions. Most planned solar additions in 2022 will be in Texas (6.1 GW, or 28% of the national total), followed by California (4.0 GW).
It is expected that 9.6 GW of new natural gas-fired capacity will come online. Combined-cycle plants account for 8.1 GW of the planned capacity additions and combustion-turbine plants for 1.4 GW. Almost all (88%) of the planned natural gas capacity is located in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, and Illinois.
In 2021, a record-high 17.1 GW of wind capacity came online in the USA. Another 7.6 GW of wind capacity is scheduled to come online in 2022. About half (51%) of the 2022 wind capacity additions are located in Texas. The 999 MW Traverse Wind Energy Center in Oklahoma, the largest wind project expected to come online in 2022, is scheduled to begin commercial operations in April.
Utility-scale battery storage capacity in the country is forecast to grow by 5.1 GW, or 84%, in 2022. Several factors have helped its expansion, including declining costs of battery storage, deploying battery storage with renewable generation, and adding value through regional transmission organisation (RTO) markets.
Another 5% of the country’s planned electric capacity additions in 2022 will come from two new reactors at the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia. One of these reactors, Unit 3, was expected to come online in 2021, but the unit’s planned start date was delayed until June 2022 to allow additional time for construction and testing.