J.Pollock Blog

Outlook 2022: Renewable resources make up most US planned capacity additions EXCLUSIVE

Tuesday, April 12, 2022 9:12 AM CT

By  Darren Sweeney and Gaurang Dholakia
Market Intelligence

Capacity additions in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. and PJM Interconnection LLC regions make up close to half of the new U.S. power generation and energy storage expected to come online in 2022.

About 27,242 MW of capacity is slated for commercial operations in the ERCOT market, with nearly 14,200 MW set to come online in PJM, according to an analysis of S&P Global Market Intelligence data.The U.S. as a whole is expected to add 88,335 MW of generation and storage in 2022, while 9,257 MW of capacity is set to be retired. More than 60 GW of new capacity in the U.S. will be tied to renewable resources.

About 41,110 MW of solar generation is projected to come online in 2022, followed by 20,560 MW of wind projects.When accounting for 404 MW of planned retirements, a net gain of 16,036 MW of natural gas-fired capacity is set to enter service.About 7,716 MW of coal-fired generation is slated for retirement in 2022, the largest unit of which is Vistra Corp.‘s 1,333-MW W.H. Zimmer plant in Clermont County, Ohio, due to be shut down in May.The analysis forecasts 817 MW of nuclear generation retirements with the Palisades nuclear plant in Van Buren County, Mich., scheduled to retire in May. The federal operating license for the nuclear reactor will be transferred to Holtec International Inc. from operator Entergy Corp. after the plant is retired.It now appears unlikely that either of the two planned 1,114-MW Alvin W. Vogtle Nuclear Plant reactors will enter service in 2022.In mid-February, Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power Co. announced further delays for the Vogtle project. Georgia Power, which owns a 45.7% interest in the project, now estimates that Vogtle unit 3 will be in service at the end of the first quarter of 2023 and unit 4 will be in service in the fourth quarter of 2023.

US 2022 Capacity Additions, Retirements

The analysis also projects 9,984 MW of energy storage capacity, primarily in the ERCOT and California ISO regions.A breakdown by independent system operator and regional transmission organization shows the ERCOT region will see a combination of solar, wind, natural gas and energy storage additions in 2022.The Texas grid operator is projected to add 12,785 MW of solar generation and 6,241 MW of wind resources. This capacity will be complemented by 3,621 MW of natural gas-fired generation and 4,595 MW of energy storage, according to the analysis.

Enel Green Power North America Inc. plans to bring its 500-MW Roseland Solar Project in Falls County, Texas, online in July. The project will be combined with a 59-MW battery storage system.The first 1,150-MW unit of the planned 3,450-MW gas-fired FGE Eagle Pines Project in Cherokee County, Texas, is expected online in June, according to Market Intelligence data. The project is owned by private Texas project developer FGE Power.

ERCOT has faced intense scrutiny over its operations and resource mix after a deadly winter storm in February 2021nearly collapsed the grid, prompting widespread outages.A new law requires owners of power generation and transmission assets to attest to winter readiness, fix any known infrastructure issues and undergo winter weatherization inspections.Efforts by an asset manager and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy to provide more than 20 GW of backup gas-fired generation for reliability appear to have stalled.ERCOT does not have any projected capacity retirements in 2022.

The analysis shows 14,158 MW of planned additions in the PJM, offset by nearly 3,900 MW of retirements almost completely tied to the deactivation of coal-fired power plants.The 1,875-MW Guernsey Power Station in Ohio, expected online in September, is the largest of the 13-state grid operator’s planned capacity additions. Privately held companies Caithness Energy LLC and Apex Power Group Inc. each own a 50% interest in the combined-cycle natural gas plant.

The Midcontinent ISO is expected to add 9,755 MW of new resources in 2022, with 3,037 MW of generation retirements, including the Palisades nuclear plant and 1,972 MW of coal-fired capacity.DTE Energy Co. subsidiary DTE Electric Co.‘s 1,146-MW Blue Water Energy Center is the largest planned addition in the MISO region in 2022. The combined-cycle natural gas plant in St. Clair County, Mich., is expected to come online in June.

About 18,374 MW of capacity additions are forecast outside of an ISO or RTO, areas that include much of the Southeast and the West, outside of the California ISO.

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Ciaralou Palicpic contributed to this article.

This article was published by S&P Global Market Intelligence and not by S&P Global Ratings, which is a separately managed division of S&P Global.