New Projects, Wind

Wind energy top source of new power in 2012

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The American Wind Energy Association has announced that 2012 was the strongest year ever for wind energy. The industry installed more than 13,000 MW of electric generating capacity last year, topping all other new sources of power for the year.

Wind power provided around 42 percent of all new generating capacity in the United States in 2012, though final numbers will be released in April in AWEA’s annual report. The 13,000 MW of new power is the result of around 190 projects in 32 states, plus Puerto Rico. Renewable energy sources accounted for more than 55 percent of all new generating capacity in the United States, according to the association.

More than 8,000 MW of wind power generation was installed in the fourth quarter of 2012, which AWEA said was caused by the impending expiration of the federal Production Tax Credit. The credit was due to end on Dec. 31, 2012, but was extended by Congress.

AWEA stated there has been a significant trend toward nontraditional power purchases from the industrial sector as new wind power purchasers last year included at least 18 industrial buyers, 11 schools and universities and eight towns or cities.

The wind industry now has a total of 60,007 MW of installed, which is enough power for the equivalent of nearly 15 million homes, according to the association.

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