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August Was an All-Renewables Month for New U.S. Energy Infrastructure

It still trails fossil fuels by a long shot, it’s an intermittent resource, it’s just one month, it’s even happened before – yeah, all the caveats apply. Still, this tells you something about the evolving U.S. energy picture: In August, 100 percent of the 487 megawatts of new utility-scale* electrical generation projects to come online use renewable sources.

Wind accounted for 249 MW and solar 238 MW, according to the August Energy Infrastructure Update from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. For the year so far, wind, solar and scattered other renewables have combined to provide 3,675 of the 6,211 MW of new generating capacity. Here’s the FERC chart (the PDF for the whole monthly report is here):

ferc_august

*FERC doesn’t count behind-the-meter (aka distributed) generation, which leaves out all the rooftop solar that’s going in. This is a lot of capacity, and a lot of generation, as I explored in this article.