With a net installed capacity of 1.6 gigawatts, 90 plants across 21 states and continued growth, Enel Green Power’s work in PV solar energy, geothermal power and wind energy is pushing forward development of green energy in the States.
Competition between renewable energy sources is hotting up in the United States, where for the first time combined electricity generation from solar, wind, biomass and geothermal power has surpassed the production from hydropower. The US Energy Information Administration reports that the former are now at 53.16 percent, compared to 46.84 percent for hydropower in the first quarter of 2014. The data shows a 4.5 percent fall for hydropower that was hit in particular by droughts in a number of US States, and an 11.3 percent increase in the new renewable energy sources.
This is good news for the United States. The growth in new renewables is due to the 103.8 percent growth in solar power – which in last year achieved a record high installed capacity in a shrinking industry – and to wind power, which bounced back from a huge drop from 12.4 gigawatts in 2012 to 1.1GW in 2013. New renewables have overtaken hydropower due to a combination of increased efficiency and new facilities, and is aiding the rebirth of green energy – whose current share is just over 13 percent of the national energy mix – promoted by Washington just as the country’s natural gas industry is booming.
The growth in renewable energy generation in the USA isalmost an inversion of last year’s trend, and Enel Green Power North America played its part. The business grew strongly in 2013 and the first quarter of 2014 it carried on this positive trend and signed a capital contribution agreement for two wind farms with a consortium led by J.P. Morgan.
EGP has 90 plants in 21 States, a net installed capacity of 1.6GW in which wind power (1.2GW) has the lion’s share, a €79,000 operational CAPEX in 1Q 2014 (25 percent of EGP’s total) and a load factor that has risen by three percent compared since the first quarter of 2013.
The future of EGP’s renewable energy activities in the United States includes the expansion of Stillwater, the increased ownership by 75 percent of the Buffalo Duneswind farm, 400MW of capacity under constructed and another 350MW about to be put into service. Wind power drives EGP’s growth in the country, but geothermal is another driver of development: it’s not by chance that EGP North America was acknowledged as Energy Innovator of the year precisely for its Cove Fort geothermal plant.