EIA: U.S. Utility-scale wind tops record 1.76M MWh daily generation in December

Courtesy Dominion Energy.

Daily electricity generation from wind turbines in the continental U.S. set all-time records late last year, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.

On December 23, utility-scale wind power delivered 1.76 million MWh, accounting for about 17 percent of total U.S. power generation that day, the EIA says. Utility-scale wind represented about 11 percent of the U.S. portfolio for all of November and nine percent for 2020.

Hourly dispatch of wind-powered electricity also set new records. A record set November 18 totaled 73.6 GW, but that was eclipsed about a month later when utility-scale wind topped 82 GW on December 18 during the hour ending 10 p.m. ET.

These dispatch and generation benchmarks broke daily and hourly records established in 2019.

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Utility-scale wind power is fast becoming the preeminent renewable resource in the U.S. generation mix, exceeding even hydropower. Project developers and grid operators plan to add another 12.2 of new wind capacity to the U.S. grid by the end of this year, according to the EIA.

More of half of that new capacity is being built in Texas and Oklahoma. Texas ranks first nationally for installed wind capacity among states, while Oklahoma is in the top 4.

Falling deployment costs and production tax credits are helping to drive the growth of utility-scale wind both in the U.S. and many other nations.

A report cited by Bloomberg NEF estimated that backers are investing more than $35 billion in offshore wind farms globally. Overall, firms such as Mordor Intelligence forecast that the wind power market should grow by an average 8 percent annual rate through 2025.

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