US generating capacity to increase in 2019, despite retirements; Renewables dominate additions

According to S&P Global Market Intelligence (“S&P”), the U.S. power grid is expected to add 49,420 MW of generation capacity in 2019, while 8,597 MW of capacity is expected to be retired. 68% of the capacity to be retired, is coal plants, the largest of which will be the 2,250 MW Navajo Generating Station in Arizona. Wind power makes up the largest share of capacity additions, with 22,447 MW expected, or 45% of planned 2019 additions, led by the 500 MW Goodnight Wind Energy Plant in Texas. Natural gas will account for 28% of planned additions and solar will total 22%.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (“EIA”) has predicted a much lower number for 2019 capacity additions, however still expects there to be a net gain in total U.S. generating capacity. According to January EIA data, the US will add 23,700 MW of generating capacity in 2019. This number is significantly less than S&P has forecasted. The EIA assumes a similar amount of capacity retirements, at 8,300 MW. Of the EIA’s expected additions, 46% will be wind, 34% natural gas, and 18% solar.

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Note: S&P Global Market Intelligence data referenced from January 18, 2019 article, “US grid expected to add a net 40,800 MW of generating capacity in 2019.” Market Intelligence is a subscription-based service and a link is not available.