According to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC), 578MW of solar capacity from large-scale projects was added in the US during August 2013.
The 578MW was added across 20 projects, in contrast to the previous month, in which only 11.5MW was added.
From January to the end of August, FERC said 148 solar power plants of 1MW capacity in size or more were added in the US, totalling 1,774MW. In 2012 the figure for the equivalent period was almost half of that, 897MW.
This meant that by the end of August 2013, total installed capacity of projects 1MW or larger in the USA was 6.02GW. Of total installed operating generating capacity across all methods including coal, natural gas, nuclear, oil, wind, water, biomass, geothermal steam, solar, waste heat and other methods, installed capacity of solar power represented 0.52%. Coal and nuclear remained in the lead with 28.92% (337.56GW installed) and 41.94% (489.44GW installed) respectively. Wind power capacity stood just under 10 times that of solar, at 5.15%. The proportion of solar power as part of total installed capacity increased by 0.8% from July, when it represented 0.46% of the energy mix.
The increases in solar generating capacity included three plants totalling 464MW that came online in California during the month. The Campo Verde Solar Project by Southern Co. (139MW), the Centinela Solar Enrgy Phase 1 (125MW) for LS Power Group and the Imperial Valley Solar Phase 1 (200MW) by AES Corp are all located in Imperial Valley, California and will sell electricity to San Diego Gas and Electric Co (SDG&E). A 67MW project by EDF Group, Catalina Renewable Energy Project Phase 2 was also completed in California and will also sell electricity to SDG&E.
Elsewhere added capacity was spread across various projects of between around 2 to 4MW in size, including 10 plants that were installed in North Carolina totalling 19.5MW capacity.