File photo of the Brazos Wind
Farm in Texas.

Wind generation made up one-third of the 15.1 GW of generating capacity that came online in the United States during the first half of 2022, followed by natural gas, solar, and battery storage. 

More than 40% of the wind capacity was located in Texas: fully 2.2 GW of the 5.2 GW wind total. The largest renewable projects included the 999 MW Traverse Wind Project in Oklahoma, the 492 MW Maverick Creek Wind in Texas, and the 440 MW solar and battery storage project at Slate Hybrid in California.

The year’s second half could see developers add another 29 GW of generating capacity.

Those highlights were reported by the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). It said that developers report plans to add 29.4 GW of new capacity during the second half of the year. Nearly half of that planned capacity is from solar (13.6 GW), followed by wind (6.0 GW). As in previous years, many projects are slated to come online in December because of tax incentives.

Texas remains a leader in deploying wind generating resources, but transmission constraints are keeping at least some of the energy that is produced from reaching load centers.

EIA said that gas-fired generating capacity rose by 4.3 GW during the first half while solar rose by 4.2 GW.

EIA said that respondents to its project survey now plan to add 3.7 GW less solar capacity in 2022 than what they had expected at the beginning of the year. Pandemic-related challenges in supply chains and a U.S. Department of Commerce tariff investigation are likely causes for this decrease, EIA said.

Headwinds facing the solar industry were showcased in a recent report from the American Clean Power Association on the industry’s performance. It said installations fell by 25% in the first six months of 2022 compared to the first half of 2021. That was the largest drop in solar installations over a six-month period since 2018.

EIA said that operators also said they have plans to retire 15.1 GW of electric generating capacity this year. Around 8.8 GW was retired during the first half. Coal-fired power plants are expected to account for three-quarters of the retirements, followed by natural gas (12%) and nuclear (9%). 

The largest coal power plant retirements include the 1,305 MW William H. Zimmer plant in Ohio, which retired in May, and the 1,205 MW Morgantown Generating Station in Maryland, which retired in June. In addition, the 769 MW Palisades nuclear power facility in Michigan retired in June.