Electric utility capital expenditures will climb to $120.8 billion this year, up 20 percent from the 2015 estimate of $108.6 billion issued a year ago, according to the Edison Electric Institute.
More than one-third of the expected cap-ex for this year is tied to generation, while about one-quarter is associated with distribution spending, said EEI, which represents investor-owned utilities.
Spending will moderate in coming years, with projected spending of $104.5 billion in 2017 and $96.5 billion in 2018, EEI said.
“Environmental cap-ex is expected to decrease again this year as we are at the tail end of MATS spending and the Clean Power Plan is not yet in company IRPs.” EEI said in a prepared statement.
“Finally, we continue to see an elevated level of investment in the transmission and distribution segments as a result of grid modernization and accommodating the expansion of renewable energy resources,” the association said.