FERC: US adds 268 MW of biomass capacity in 2017

By Erin Voegele | February 07, 2018

New data released by the federal government shows the U.S. added 268 MW of biomass power capacity last year, more than double the 110 MW of biomass capacity that was installed in 2016.

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has released its Energy Infrastructure Update for December, showing the U.S. added 725 power generation units in 2017 with a combined 14,614 MW of installed capacity. In 2016, the U.S. added 981 units with a combined 28,616 MW of capacity.

The report shows 26 biomass units were placed into service last year, with a combined 268 MW of capacity. In 2016, 57 biomass units were placed into service with a combined 110 MW of capacity.

In addition to the biomass units, the U.S. added 79 natural gas units with a combined 11,980 MW of capacity last year, along with one nuclear unit with 102 MW of capacity, 10 oil units with 40 MW of capacity, 11 hydro units with 214 Mwq of capacity, 69 wind units with 6,881 MW of capacity, two geothermal steam units with 55 MW of capacity, 503 solar units with 4,853 Mw of capacity, one waste heat unit with 220 MW of capacity and 23 units classified as “other” with a combined 1 MW of capacity. No new coal units were placed into service in 2017.

As of the close of 2017, the FERC estimates the U.S. has 1,188.59 GW of installed generating capacity in place. This includes 16.68 GW of biomass capacity, which accounts for 1.4 percent of total U.S. installed capacity.

The report also indicates that there are 244,057 MW of proposed capacity additions to be placed into service by January 2021, including 62 biomass units with a combined 890 MW of capacity. In addition, the report shows there are currently 38,432 MW of proposed capacity retirements by January 2021, including 21 biomass units with a combined 47 MW of capacity.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from the FERC website