New Projects, Renewables, Wind

US Wind Industry Passes 70 GW Mark

The U.S. wind industry installed 70 GW of generating capacity, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
The milestone was achieved in November. Wind power reached the 50 GW and 60 GW thresholds in 2012, as developers rushed to complete projects before the expiration of the Production Tax Credit (PTC). After the credit expired, wind installations declined by 92 percent in 2013. Congress recently approved a five-year extension of the PTC and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) as part of the government’s spending bill.
AWEA said there are currently 50,000 operating wind turbines at more than 980 utility-scale wind farms across 40 states and Puerto Rico. U.S. wind power began 2015 with a capacity of 65,877 MW with 956 utility-scale wind projects in 39 states and Puerto Rico. More will be added in December to push the 2015 total above 70 GW. Some of the projects completed this quarter are in Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and North Dakota. North Carolina started construction of its first utility-scale wind farm in October.
ERCOT, the Texas grid operator, saw wind energy peak at 12,971 MW. Overall, wind supplied 18.4 percent of ERCOT’s total demand in November. Wind also supplied 12,614 MW in MISO, the grid operator in parts of 12 midwest states.
The cost of wind-generated electricity has dropped 66 percent in six years.