KMSP - The US power grid expects to add another 26 gigawatts (GW) to capacity in 2016 which is up just slightly from the previous few years, but will be the first year in which utility-scale solar additions exceed additions from any other single energy source.
The solar power boom is finally coming online after government subsidies took affect a few years ago allowing many companies to begin construction on massive solar power plants, most of which reside in the Desert Southwest. Solar energy will make up more than a third of total additions to the power grid this year totaling more than 9 GW, followed by natural gas with 8 GW, wind at 6.8 GW, and nuclear at 1.1 GW. This means that nearly two thirds of added energy this year will be from clean and renewable energy sources… this happening for just the second time.
Also happening for the first time in 20 years, a new nuclear power facility coming online in Tennessee sometime over the summer. A sign of the times, just 3 coal fired power plants will be turning on this year accounting for just 1 percent of added capacity.
A common question for those wondering is why there are some many power supplies that come online in December. It’s just like anything else, companies try to get as many projects done in the final few weeks of the year as possible to take advantage of tax breaks and other corporate benefits.