FERC: U.S. added 254 MW of biomass capacity in 2014

By Erin Voegele | February 06, 2015

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects has released the December edition of its Energy Infrastructure Update, reporting the U.S. added 254 MW of biomass energy capacity last year.

In December, the U.S. added five biomass generating units with a combined capacity of 23 MW. During the full year 2014, the U.S. added 58 biomass generating units with a combined capacity of 254 MW. In 2013, 142 biomass units were added with a combined 858 MW of capacity.

Within its report, the FERC highlighted LES Service LLC’s 6 MW landfill gas-to-energy, which came online in December. The project, known as the Zimmerman Energy Facility, is located in Fulton County, Indiana. Power generated at the facility is sold to Northern Indiana Public Service Co. under a long-term contract.

Overall, the U.S. added a total of 490 new energy generation units in 2014 with a combined capacity of 15,384 MW. More than half of that new capacity came from renewable energy sources. In addition to the bioenergy capacity, the U.S. also added 10 hydropower units with 158 MW of capacity, 57 wind units with 4,080 MW of capacity, five geothermal steam units with 32 MW of capacity, 277 solar units with 3,139 MW of capacity, one waste heat unit with 5 MW of capacity and six units classified as “other” with 7 MW of capacity. In addition, the U.S. added one unit with 106 MW of capacity, 59 natural gas units with 7,485 MW of capacity, one nuclear unit with 71 MW of capacity, and 15 oil units with 47 MW of capacity.

As of the close of 2014, the U.S. had 16.10 GW of installed biomass capacity, equating to approximately 1.38 percent of all U.S. power generation capacity. Of the non-hydro renewables, only wind has a larger share of total capacity, with 64.77 GW, or 5.54 percent. Solar capacity was 11.17 GW, or 0.96 percent; geothermal steam was 3.87 G, or 33 percent; waste heat was 1.13 GW, or 0.1 percent; other was 0.81 GW or 0.07 percent; and hydro was 98.39 GW, or 8.42 percent. Natural gas has the largest share of capacity, with 492.97 GW or 42.18 percent, followed by coal at 326.6 GW or 27.94 percent. The U.S. also has 106.87 GW of nuclear capacity, which equates to 9.14 percent of total capacity, with oil at 46.07 GW, or 3.94 percent.