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Windtech International May June 2024 issue

 

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The American Clean Power Association has released its Clean Power Market Report Q1 2022, which showed that wind, utility-scale solar, and battery storage sectors installed 6,619MW of utility-scale clean power capacity. The record capacity is largely due to gains in battery storage installation, with storage installations up 173%, solar installations up 11%, and wind installations down 3%, as compared to the first quarter of 2021.

While these gains contributed to a record first quarter for clean power installations, the rate of growth slowed to 11% in the first quarter of 2022, compared to the 50% year-over-year growth rate reported between 2019 and 2021. 
 
Cumulatively, operating clean power capacity in the country is now nearly 208GW. The 90 new projects added to the grid represent $9.3 billion in capital investments.
 
The Q1 report shows 56 new utility-scale solar projects came online in 2021, for a total of 2,997 MW. 10 new wind projects came online, totalling 2,865 MW. Finally, the industry installed 24 new battery storage projects with a total capacity of 758 MW/2,537 MWh. 
 
While the industry currently sits on a record volume of clean power capacity in the pipeline, the rate of growth of that pipeline is also slowing. The pipeline grew by just 4% during the first quarter – much lower than the 12% quarterly expansion experienced throughout 2021. There are almost 1,100 projects in the pipeline with a total operating capacity of 125,476 MW. This includes 40,522 MW of projects under construction and 84,953 MW in advanced development. 
 
In total, 14.8 GW of capacity has been delayed as of the end of the quarter. At the end of 2021, 11.7 GW of clean power projects experienced delays. Of that, 3,440 MW have since come online. However, an additional 6,576 additional MW of clean power projects experienced delays during the first quarter, bringing the total delayed capacity to 14.8 GW. Based on ACP’s analysis, on average these projects have been delayed by seven months.
 
Wind makes up 31% of total delays in the first quarter of 2022, and battery storage makes up 11% of delays. Solar accounts for 58% of all projects delayed.
 
Land-based wind accounts for 19% of the pipeline, offshore wind represents 14%, and solar accounting for 56%.
 
Power purchase agreement (PPAs) announcements saw a significant decline, down 10% from last quarter and 15% from the first quarter of 2021. For the quarter, companies announced 6,339 MW of new power purchase agreements (PPAs). Corporate buyers were among those more hesitant to sign on to new clean power PPAs. Commercial & Industrial (C&I) offtakers announced 3,309 MW of new PPAs this quarter, a notable 46% decline from the first quarter of last year. According to LevelTen, PPA prices rose across all regions and technologies this quarter due to supply chain disruptions and increasing prices of commodities and labour. Utilities on the other hand increased PPA announcements by 53% compared to the first quarter of last year, with 2,513 MW announced. In total, 15 utilities announced PPAs this quarter. 
 
The first quarter saw significant activity in the offshore development sector. Louisiana announced an offshore wind goal of 5 GW installed by 2035 as part of the state’s first ever Climate Action Plan. To date, nine states have set offshore wind procurement targets totaling nearly 45 GW.
 
In February, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management held a lease sale for six commercial lease areas in the New York Bight with the potential to generate up to 7 GW of clean energy. The auction lasted three days and brought in $4.37 billion in federal revenue.
 
New York State broke ground on the 130 MW South Fork Wind Project as Ørsted and Eversource’s joint venture announced the approval of the final investment decision for the project, which is expected to be operational by the end of 2023.
 
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