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Renewables dominate announced, completed capacity in March

Q2: U.S. Solar and Wind Power by the Numbers

Essential Energy Insights - September 17, 2020

Essential Energy Insights September 2020

Rate case activity slips, COVID-19 proceedings remain at the forefront in August

Renewables dominate announced, completed capacity in March

Wind and solar capacity dominated both completed and newly announcedgeneration in March.

Projects completed totaled 196 MW, of which 169 MW, or 86%, werewind and solar. The remainder was comprised of a multi-unit landfill gas facilityin California. Announced capacity for the month totaled 350 MW, with 330 MW, or94%, wind and solar.

Completed projects

The Western Electricity Coordinating Council saw the largestamount of capacity additions for the month of March, with 165 MW, or approximately84%, of the total completed capacity. By fuel source, the most new capacity completedin March was solar, at 107 MW. WECC saw the bulk of the solar additions, with 79MW, followed by 24 MW in the SERC Reliability Corp. region and 4 MW in the NortheastPower Coordinating Council Inc. region.

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A total of 17 units were brought online during March, with the62-MW Latigo Wind Parkin Utah, ultimately owned by Fir TreeInc., the largest in capacity. This power plant is comprised of 27 GEEnergy wind turbines and cost an estimated $121 million. Output is under a 20-year power purchase agreementto PacifiCorp. Accordingto a notice to FERC on March 1, Sustainable Power Group LLC, a unit of Fir Tree,completed the sale ofa passive class A membership stake in the power plant to EFS Renewables HoldingsLLC.

The second-largest unit by capacity to come online was the 39-MWBlythe Solar 110 PV BLCK1, owned by NextEraEnergy Resources LLC. This unit had an estimated construction cost ofalmost $93 million and is part of the BlytheSolar 110 (Blythe Solar I) power plant, from which the output is beingsold to under a power purchaseagreement. Two other solar units at the site are under construction.

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Announced projects

The Midwest Reliability Organization region saw the largest amountof new capacity announced during March, with 200 MW of wind and 100 MW of solar.The 200 MW of wind accounted for 57% of all new capacity announced in March. Solartotaled 37% of announced projects during the month, split between the MRO and SERCregions.

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The largest two announced projects are by EDF Renewable Energy. This includes the 200-MW in PlymouthCounty, Iowa, though the developer is just reportedly considering the project; no permits have yet been filed.EDF Renewable is also consideringthe 100-MW Holliday Creek SolarProject, in Webster County, Iowa. The Rocky Road facility has an estimatedcompletion date of 2018 and project cost of $390 million. The Holliday Creek projecthas an estimated in-service date of 2018 and estimated project costs totaling $240million.

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