No fossil projects in 1,200 MW that came online last month — FERC

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Solar panels, windmills and biomass facilities made up all the new generation that came online last month, compared to fossil-heavy contributions in January 2012, according to a new federal report.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its monthly infrastructure update that found more than 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy went into operation in January. The findings are based on data from Ventyx Global LLC.

In comparison, coal- and gas-fired plants made up the bulk of new generation in January 2012, with lesser contributions from wind and solar facilities, according to the report.

Last month, 958 MW of wind, 267 MW of solar and 6 MW of biomass were brought online. In January 2012, coal- and gas-fired generation made up 1,254 MW of new generation, while wind, solar and biomass contributed about 431 MW.

The jump in green energy was driven mainly by large solar installations coming online in California and wind projects in Texas, Kansas and Michigan.

In California, Exelon Corp.’s 115 MW Antelope Valley solar project in north Los Angeles County came online, and an additional 115 MW is expected to be powered up by the year’s end, according to FERC. NRG Energy’s 107 MW solar facility in San Luis Obispo County is also up and running, and smaller projects were brought into operation in Arizona, Tennessee, Oregon and New Mexico.

BP Wind Energy’s 470 MW Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm in Nashville, Kan., and Duke Energy Renewables’ 402 MW Los Vientos I and II in Willacy County, Texas, also came online. In addition, Exelon Corp. powered up its 82 MW Beebe Community Wind Farm in Gratiot County, Mich.