Utilities helped lead the largest upturn in generation in five years last year, as more than 27,000 megawatts of generation were added to the grid, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Coupled with the retirement of 12,000 megawatts of generation last year, there was a 15,000 megwatt net increase, the EIA said.
That contrasts with a 4,000 megawatt decline in 2015, the largest ever recorded in the United States.
“Of the 2016 total utility-scale capacity additions, more than 60 percent were wind (8.7 gigawatts) and solar (7.7 gigawatts), compared with 33 percent (9 GW) from natural gas,” EIA said.
Looking at the federal government’s colorful chart of generation additions, brown “natural gas” generation dominated 15 years ago, while in 2016, yellow “solar” and green “wind” came on strong.