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US adds 5.6 GW of clean power in first quarter of 2024

The American Clean Power Association (ACP) announced that the utility-scale solar, wind and storage sectors in the U.S. collectively added 5,585 MW of new capacity in the first quarter of 2024, marking a 28% increase compared to installations during the same period last year. These additions have the capacity to provide clean energy to one million homes.

Additionally, ACP's latest Clean Power Quarterly Market Report | Q1 2024 highlights significant industry achievements in the first quarter: utility-scale solar capacity exceeded 100 gigawatts (GW), and the first offshore wind project in federal waters commenced supplying 132 MW of clean and reliable power to the grid.

John Hensley, ACP’s VP of Markets and Policy Analysis, remarked that the first quarter of 2024 established the trend for the year, highlighting not only an industry persistently surpassing obstacles but also the rising requirement for clean energy solutions. He noted that achieving the milestone of 100 GW for solar, initiating groundbreaking projects such as South Fork Wind, and achieving a record-setting pace of new contracts for clean energy all serve as evident indicators of the public's desire to strengthen the grid with domestically sourced, reliable, and cost-effective clean energy.

Key highlights from the Q1 2024 report

  • Utility-Scale Solar Achieves Major Milestone: Operating utility-scale solar capacity exceeded 100 GW for the first time.

          While it took 18 years to reach the initial 50 GW of U.S. solar capacity, the subsequent 50                 GW was achieved in just four years.

          A substantial 4,557 MW of new solar capacity was added in Q1 2024, bringing the total                     installed utility-scale solar capacity in the U.S. to over 100,547 MW.

           Nearly 40% of the newly installed solar capacity in Q1 originated from projects in Florida.

  • Historic Deployment of Offshore Wind: The commissioning of the South Fork Wind project in March marked the commencement of the first large-scale offshore wind initiative in federal waters, adding 132 MW of capacity off the coast of New York.
  • Significant Increase in Clean Power Procurement: Clean power procurement experienced a robust 52% increase from Q1 2023, with 7,773 MW of new Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) signed as utilities and corporate buyers prioritize renewables to meet their energy needs. This surge reflects the growing confidence and demand for clean energy.

High of nearly 175 GW

The outlook for the clean energy future continues to improve, with the clean power pipeline reaching a record high of nearly 175 GW. This significant expansion of the pipeline is largely driven by the growth of battery storage and solar, which have experienced average quarterly growth rates of 11% and 4% respectively since the second quarter of 2022.

Surge by 61% year-over-year

While energy storage deployments remained steady compared to the same period last year, the pipeline for new storage projects surged by 61% year-over-year to reach 31.6 GW in the near-term pipeline, indicating strong potential for future growth.

Despite a somewhat subdued quarter, the land-based wind market witnessed an expansion of its project pipeline, increasing by 37% year-over-year to reach 13.7 GW. Wyoming and New Mexico are emerging as leaders in this technology, surpassing long-standing market leader Texas. Overall, U.S. clean power capacity now stands at 269,878 MW, sufficient to provide electricity for over 68 million American homes.


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