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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for June 2014  |  Release Date: Aug. 25, 2014  |  Next Release Date: Sep. 25, 2014
Re-release date: September 03, 2014   |   Revision

Previous Issues

Highlights: June 2014

  • June 2014 was the 19th month in a row where the average U.S. revenue per kilowatthour was higher than the same month of the previous year.
  • The New York City natural gas price, like many natural gas prices in the Northeast, was below the price of natural gas at Henry Hub in June 2014.
  • Demand for electricity on Tucson Electric's system reached 99.6% of all-time peak on June 30, 2014.

Key Indicators

  June 2014 % Change from June 2013
Total Net Generation
(Thousand MWh)
357,419 0.3%
Residential Retail Price
(cents/kWh)
12.97 3.4%
Retail Sales
(Thousand MWh)
319,302 0.6%
Cooling Degree-Days 238 -3.6%
Natural Gas Price, Henry Hub
($/MMBtu)
4.71 19.7%
Natural Gas Consumption
(Mcf)
745,369 -2.6%
Coal Consumption
(Thousand Tons)
74,579 -0.8%
Coal Stocks
(Thousand Tons)
132,885 -22.1%
Nuclear Generation
(Thousand MWh)
68,138 2.6%



Natural gas, solar, and wind led new power plant capacity additions in the first half of 2014

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly, August 2014 edition with June 2014 data.
Note: Data include facilities with a net summer capacity of 1 MW and above only.


In the first six months of 2014, 4,350 megawatts (MW) of new utility-scale generating capacity came online. Natural gas plants, almost all combined-cycle plants, made up more than half of the additions, while solar plants contributed more than a quarter and wind plants around one-sixth.

These year-to-date additions were 40% less than the capacity added in the same period last year, which saw about 7,250 MW added. Natural gas additions were down by about half, while solar additions were up by nearly 70%. Wind additions in the first half of 2014 were more than double the level in the first half of 2013.

Florida added the most capacity (1,210 MW) of any state, all of it natural gas combined-cycle capacity. California, with the second-largest level of additions, added just under 1,100 MW, of which about 77% was solar and 21% was wind, with the remaining additions from natural gas and other sources. Utah, in third place, added 630 MW, all of it natural gas combined-cycle capacity. And Texas, in fourth place, added 350 MW, nearly all of it natural gas combined-cycle capacity with some solar and wind capacity.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly, August 2014 edition with June 2014 data.
Note: Data include facilities with a net summer capacity of 1 MW and above only.


Natural Gas

Additions of combined-cycle plants (2,180 MW) were up by 60% compared to the same period last year (1,380 MW).

Four plants accounted for the combined-cycle capacity additions — the new Riviera plant (1,212 MW) in Florida, expansions at the Lake Side Power Plant (629 MW) in Utah, and the Channel Energy Center (183 MW) and the Deer Park Energy Center (155 MW), both in Texas.

Significantly fewer combustion turbine plants were added (130 MW) compared to last year (3,120 MW), making the June 2014 year-to-date additions of natural gas plants overall about half the level of the same period last year.

Solar

Solar additions experienced strong year-on-year growth, with nearly 70% more additions in the first half of 2014 (1,150 MW) than in the same period last year (690 MW). About three-quarters of this solar capacity was located in California, with Arizona, Nevada, and Massachusetts making up most of the rest.

Notable additions include:

  • 152 MW of additional capacity at the Topaz PV plant in California
  • 134 MW of additional capacity at the Desert Sunlight (Phase 1 and Phase 2) PV plant in California
  • 125 MW of additional capacity at the Genesis solar thermal plant in California
  • 110 MW of additional capacity at the Agua Caliente PV plant (currently the largest solar PV plant in the world at 290 MW of total capacity) in Arizona
  • A combined 172 MW of capacity at the Solar Star 1 and Solar Star 2 PV plants in California

Wind

Wind additions (675 MW) were more than double the amount added in the same period last year (330 MW) and were concentrated in California, Nebraska, Michigan, and Minnesota.

California's 228 MW of capacity additions came from the Alta Wind X and Alta Wind XI projects of the Alta Wind Energy Center (currently the largest wind farm in the United States at 1,548 MW of total capacity), while Nebraska's 207 MW came from the Prairie Breeze wind farm. In Michigan, 61 MW of the Echo Wind Park plant came online as well as the 75-MW Pheasant Run II plant. In Minnesota, the 50-MW Lakeswind plant came online.

Other

In Washington, a 122-MW hydroelectric turbine came online at the Wanapum Dam to replace the 104-MW turbine that was retired in late 2013. The dam is in the middle of a decades-long project to replace all of its turbines (which date back to 1963-64) with new more-efficient turbines one at a time.

Coal

There were no additions of coal capacity so far in 2014. The two coal plants that came online last year, the 937-MW Sandy Creek Energy Station in Texas and the 571-MW Edwardsport integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) plant in Indiana, were somewhat special situations of delayed coal projects finally coming online in 2013.

The only coal plants planned to come online in 2014 are the Kemper IGCC plant in Mississippi and a small conventional steam coal plant in North Dakota, reflecting the challenging conditions for coal plants caused by increased competition from natural gas plants and impending environmental regulations.


Principal Contributors:

April Lee
(April.Lee@eia.gov)

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