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Published: 17 May 2022 17 May 2022
The American Clean Power Association has released its  Clean Power AnnualMarket  Report 2021, which showed that  wind, utility solar, and battery storage power capacity in the U.S. topped 200GW after 28.5 GW of clean energy projects came online in 2021.
 
Installations were flat when compared to 2020 levels due to several policy headwinds facing the wind and solar sectors. ACP found that maintaining last year’s project volume would provide only 35% of what is needed to reach a net zero grid by 2035. A total of 594 projects came online,  representing 81  percent  of all new power capacity installations. At the end of the year, there were 303 projects under construction and 390 in advanced development.  Clean power technologies now deliver 13 percent of the nation’s electricity. However, the country faced a downward trend in transmission infrastructure, with only 386 miles of transmission lines being built in 2021.
Transmission projects in development could deliver an additional 5,000 miles of lines by 2025.
 
Last year was the second biggest year for wind installations after 2020 with 13,400 MW installed, bringing the total U.S. wind operating capacity to 135,843 MW. Despite this, land-based wind capacity installations were down due to more than 5 GW of projects being delayed for a variety of reasons including supply chain challenges, transportation and logistics constraints, inflation causing higher commodity prices, and interconnection delays. Overall, wind remained the largest renewable power source on the grid with utility operations in 41 states and Puerto Rico. 

The U.S. utility solar sector installed a record 12,433 MW of capacity in 2021, bringing total cumulative operating capacity to 60,733 MW.
The battery storage market saw its largest year on record with developers bringing 2.7 gigawatts online in 2021. Overall there are now 4.7 gigawatts of battery storage online. 
 
The offshore wind market took several significant steps forward in 2021 with the first commercial-scale offshore wind project, the Vineyard Wind (806 MW) project, beginning onshore construction in November. South Fork Wind (132 MW) also received a record of decision in November, allowing construction to move forward earlier this year.  The industry set a record for offshore wind procurement as states and utilities announced 8.4 GW of offshore wind procurement in 2021. 
 
There are 18 projects in development that have secured offtake, totaling nearly 17.5 GW. In total, there are currently 26 active leases on the East Coast, stretching from Massachusetts to North Carolina in various stages of development.
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