American Clean Power Association‘s (ACP) Clean Power Quarterly 2021 Q2 Market Report shows that U.S. project developers commissioned 5,620 MW of clean power capacity in the second quarter of 2021, a 13% increase over 2020’s second quarter volume. Additions for the first half of 2021 totaled 9,915 MW, the highest record for new clean power installations, representing a 17% increase in the first six months of 2021 compared to the same period last year.
The industry installed 2,226 MW of solar capacity in the second quarter, a 73% increase compared to the first quarter, bringing total new annual operating solar capacity to 3,513 MW. The wind sector installed 2,824 MW of new capacity in the second quarter of 2021, a 10% increase compared to the same period last year. Battery energy storage experienced the most dramatic quarterly increase with new installations of 570 MW surging 439%, new energy storage capacity in 2021 now totals almost 665 MW, nearly the 2020-year end total.
“This market report shows the record growth across the renewable energy sector,” says Heather Zichal, ACP’s CEO. “With a record pace of installations in the first half of 2021 our industry not only provides good-paying jobs but also is a key part of solving the climate crisis. This growth and expansion are expected to continue but we need policymakers in Washington to make long term decisions to ensure we can continue to develop these critical projects.”
Project owners commissioned a total of 56 new projects across 27 states during the second quarter, this includes 16 new wind projects, 30 utility-scale solar projects, and 7 energy storage projects and 3 solar-storage hybrid projects enough to power nearly 1.3 million American homes. The top five states for second quarter additions include Texas (1,489 MW), California (585 MW), Michigan (424 MW), Florida (373 MW) and Kansas (301 MW).
In total, there are now over 180,216 MW of clean power capacity operating in the U.S, enough to power over 50 million homes across the country and more than double the U.S. capacity just five years ago. This growth will continue, at the end of the second quarter there were 906 projects totaling over 101,897 MW of clean power capacity under construction (37,725 MW) or in advanced development (64,172 MW) across the U.S.
The sector also saw continued clean power procurement activity with power purchasers and project developers reporting 4,218 MW of new power purchase (PPA) in the second quarter, bringing the first half year totals up to 7,700MW. The quarter saw a continued shift to solar PPAs with over 20 solar projects securing PPAs.