FERC: 33 MW of biomass capacity added in March

By Erin Voegele | May 12, 2016

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Office of Energy Projects recently released its Energy Infrastructure Update for March 2016, reporting the U.S. added 33 MW of energy capacity during the first quarter of this year.

According to the report, nine biomass units were placed in service during March, with a combined capacity of 33 MW. The FERC did not report any biomass units that were placed into service during the first two months of the year. During the first quarter of 2015, only 10 biomass units with a combined capacity of 16 MW were placed into service.

During the first quarter of 2016, 67 new electricity generating units were placed into service in the U.S., with a combined capacity of 1,309 MW, down from 90 units and 1,786 MW during the same period of 2015. In addition to the biomass units, two natural gas units were placed into service with a combined capacity of 18 MW, along with one hydro unit with a capacity of 29 MW, nine wind units with 707 MW, 44 solar units with 522 MW, and two units classified as “other” with a combined capacity of less than 1 MW. According to the report, no new coal, nuclear, oil, geothermal steam or waste heat units were placed into service during the first quarter of 2015.

Within its report, the FERC highlighted Barlow Project Inc.’s municipal solid waste-fired 7.3 MW Kauai waste-to-energy project in Kauai County, Hawaii, which came online in March. Power generated at the facility is sold to Kauai Island Utility Coop. under a long-term contract. The FERC also reported Bowerman Power LFG LLC’s 23.8 MW Bowerman landfill gas-to-energy project Orange County, California, began operations in March. A portion of the power generated is sold to the Anaheim Public Utilities Department under a long-term contract.

As of the close of March, the U.S. had 16.71 GW of biomass capacity, which equates to 1.43 percent of total capacity. Of the non-hydro renewables, only wind has a higher share of installed generating capacity.