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Solar news: June 12th, 2020

In this week’s Solar News Roundup, renewables account for all new generating capacity in April, and Massachusetts gets two new community solar + storage projects.

April 2020 sees all newly added U.S. electricity come from renewables

According to data released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), 100 percent of the 1,328 megawatts (MW) in new generating capacity in the U.S. in April came from either wind, solar, or hydropower. Renewable energy now accounts for 22.87 percent of the total U.S. available generating capacity, and should continue expanding its lead over coal, which currently accounts for 20.32 percent.

The numbers look even more staggering when compared to our country’s generating capacity five years ago. Wind is now 9.08 percent of the nation’s total generating capacity, up almost 2X from 5.74 percent in 2015. Even more significantly, solar is at 3.79 percent of total capacity, up almost 4X in the same time period. Additionally, FERC’s data suggests that wind and solar are on track to each provide more new generating capacity over the next three years than natural gas, the current leader in total capacity.

Two new community solar + storage projects completed in Massachusetts

This week, Clearway Energy Group announced the completion of two new community solar projects paired with battery storage systems: a 3.3 megawatt (MW) project in Athol paired with 4 megawatt-hours (MWh) of storage, and a 5 MW project in Plainville paired with 4.6 MWh of storage. Both projects reached commercial operations in May.

“As storage continues to play a growing role in the renewable energy industry, we are thrilled to bring online Clearway’s first solar plus storage assets in Massachusetts,” said Craig Cornelius, CEO of Clearway. “We thank Governor Baker’s administration and the Department of Energy Resources for making solar plus storage a policy priority and the towns of Athol and Plainville for the opportunity to work together to bring these projects to fruition. We’re proud to be a part of the Bay State’s path toward clean, local energy and creating economic opportunity right in the communities where we operate.”

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