FERC: 128 MW of biomass capacity added during first half of 2015

By Erin Voegele | July 24, 2015

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects has released the June edition of its Energy Infrastructure Update, reporting the U.S. added 128 MW of installed biomass capacity during the first half of this year.

According to the report, one biomass unit with 95 MW of capacity was added in June, along with one 15 MW natural has unit, three wind units with a combined capacity of 320 MW, and five solar units with a combined 62 MW of capacity. Overall, 10 units were added during the month, with a combined capacity of 491 MW. No coal, nuclear, oil, water, geothermal steam, waste heat or other units were installed in June.

During the first half of this year, the U.S. added a total of 125 power generation units with a combined capacity of 3,888 MW. According to the FERC, biomass accounted for seven of those units, with a combined capacity of 128 MW. Since the beginning of the year, the U.S. has also added one coal unit with 3 MW of capacity, 21 natural gas units with a combined 1,173 Mw of capacity, one water unit with 21 MW of capacity, 18 wind units with a combined 1,969 MW of capacity, one geothermal steam unit with 45 MW of capacity, 71 solar units with a combined 549 MW of capacity and five units classified as other, with less than 1 MW of combined capacity.

Overall capacity growth is down from the same period of 2014, when the U.S. added 284 units with a combined capacity of 5,532 MW, including 35 biomass units with 137 MW of combined capacity.

Within its report, the FERC highlighted the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach’s 95 MW municipal solid waste-to-energy North Country Regional Resource Project in Palm Beach County, Florida, which is now online. The project sells power to Florida Power & Light under a long-term contract.

As of the close of June, the FERC indicates the U.S. had 1,164.44 GW of power generation capacity, including 16.31 GW of installed biomass capacity, which accounts for approximately 1.4 percent of total U.S. capacity. Of the non-hydro renewables, only wind has a higher share of total U.S. capacity.