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Today in EGEB, wind power installations are up in the Americas. Puerto Rico unveils plans for the largest solar and battery storage buildout in the U.S. A look at recent small-scale solar installation numbers in the Northeast U.S.

In 2018, the Americas installed 11.9 gigawatts of wind power, a 12 percent increase from the previous year. The data comes from the Global Wind Energy Council.

Latin America led the way percentage-wise when it came to capacity increases, with a 18.7 percent bump from 2017. New capacity additions in North America increased 10.8 percent from the previous year. GWEC CEO Ben Blackwell said:

“The North American wind market is one of the most mature and competitive in the wind industry. Many learnings and experiences from the success here can be used in other markets. The rise of corporate procurement during 2018 demonstrates how corporate sourcing can drive demand and volume in other wind markets. The development of the wind market in Latin America is very positive too. Large scale auctions have again taken place in Brazil, and we expect the first auction in Colombia to be executed this month.”

The total installed wind capacity in the Americas is now 135 GW. GWEC expects the region to add 60 GW of new capacity through 2023.

Big PR Plans

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority recently released a draft of its integrated resource plan. While not yet final, the draft contains plans for what the Sierra Club calls “by far the largest buildout of solar and battery storage in the U.S.”

Puerto Rico’s energy plan includes more than 2220 MW of solar energy and 1080 MW of energy storage. To put this in perspective, the Sierra Club cites Bloomberg NEF numbers stating “the entire U.S. grid currently only includes 1031 MW of storage.”

In the draft, PREPA establishes a number of key pillars to pursue, among them “financial viability,” a goal to be a “model of sustainability,” and for the plan to be “reliable and resilient.”

The draft also includes a plan to phase out coal and bunker oil to generate electricity. PREPA may pursue this plan for “unprecedented” battery storage and shifting away from non-renewables, but the public utility is also looking into three new import terminals for liquid natural gas. Feb. 12 is the expected release date for the complete version of the plan.

Smaller Northeast Solar

Shifting to solar installations, pv magazine recently revealed that 902 MW of small-scale solar PV systems were installed in the Northeast U.S. in the twelve month period ending November 2018.

These numbers only include solar PV systems smaller than 1 MW. Three states — Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey — added almost 700 MW on their own. Massachusetts also leads the way in cumulative watts per capita with 208. Vermont is in second, just holding off New Jersey.

Connecticut is fourth on the watts per capita list, though we’ll see how shifting solar policies in that state affect small-scale installations going forward.

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