US Forecast to Add 36 GW of Utility-scale Solar Capacity in 2024

EIA expects battery storage capacity addition to set a new record


According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the outlook for 2024 suggests a dynamic and transformative period for the country’s energy landscape, with solar and battery storage taking center stage, complemented by contributions from wind, natural gas, and nuclear sources.

Among the anticipated additions, solar power is expected to take the lead, contributing 58% of the new capacity, followed closely by battery storage at 23%. These projections are based on EIA’s latest “Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory.”

Solar Power

Utility-scale solar is poised for robust growth in 2024, with a projected addition of 36.4 GW to the grid. This growth is nearly double the 18.4 GW increase seen in the previous year, itself a record for annual utility-scale solar installations in the U.S.

As supply chain challenges and trade restrictions ease, solar power maintains its position as the frontrunner in capacity additions, outpacing other generating resources.

The majority of the new utility-scale solar capacity is concentrated in three states: Texas (35%), California (10%), and Florida (6%).

Additionally, a solar project in Nevada called Gemini, with planned capacities of 690 MW in photovoltaic and 380 MW in battery storage, is set to become the largest solar project in the country upon full operation in 2024.

Battery Storage

The year 2024 is anticipated to witness a record-setting increase in battery storage capacity, with U.S. developers planning to add 14.3 GW, nearly doubling the existing 15.5 GW. This follows a 70% annual increase in 2023 when 6.4 GW of new battery storage capacity was added to the U.S. grid.

Texas and California are expected to account for 82% of the new U.S. battery storage capacity, with notable projects like the Menifee Power Bank (460 MW) in Riverside, California, contributing to this surge.

Solar and battery storage combined will contribute 81% of new power capacity additions in 2024.

Wind Power

Although wind capacity additions have slowed in the last two years after record-breaking additions in 2020 and 2021, operators report an expected 8.2 GW of new wind capacity in 2024. Two large offshore wind plants — Vineyard Wind 1 (800 MW) off the coast of Massachusetts and South Fork Wind (130 MW) off the coast of New York — are scheduled to come online this year, contributing to the wind energy landscape.

Wind energy deployment in the U.S. is expected to reach 770 GW and solar 1,090 GW by 2050, representing 5x and 10x increases over current levels, respectively, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

The EIA has also predicted that solar power will emerge as the primary driver of electricity generation growth in 2024 and 2025, with the addition of 36 GW and 43 GW of new solar capacity, respectively.