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US Wind Industry Continues To Grow In 1H’16

The US wind industry continues to grow, approaching record levels of activity in the second quarter, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s Q2’16 market report.

Published this week, the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) US Wind Industry Second Quarter 2016 Market Reportreveals strong growth in the second quarter — a total of 310 MW installed during the second quarter, bringing the full-year’s cumulative installed capacity up to 830 MW.

Q2 2016 U.S. Wind Power Capacity Installations, by Quarter

The AWEA also heralded strong investment growth during the second quarter, but failed to actually give any details as to what that growth looked like.

“Utilities announced large scale wind power investments during the second quarter,” the AWEA said in its press release, but only highlighted the up-to-2 GW Wind XI project, being developed by MidAmerican Energy in Iowa, which committed to investing $3.6 billion into the project. There was also the 600 MW Rush Creek Project being developed by Xcel Energy in Colorado, which the AWEA highlighted as being a recipient of big investment dollars, but again failed to give any figures.

”There’s never been a better time to buy American wind energy,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA.

“Smart utilities and other customers are locking in prices at record lows by starting construction this year to qualify for the full-value PTC. The industry is thriving thanks to policy stability and we appreciate support from champions in Congress for a multi-year extension of the PTC. Wind power supports 88,000 well-paying jobs, and the wind turbine technician is the fastest growing profession in the U.S. This is what an efficient, performance-driven policy delivers – more low-cost clean energy and the American jobs that make it happen.”

Q2 2016 U.S. Annual and Cumulative Wind Power Capacity Growth

However, lack of information on actual investment figures aside, the US wind industry is obviously benefiting, as it boasts over 18,200 MW of wind power capacity currently under construction, and a cumulative total of 74.8 GW of wind capacity installed across the country. More specifically, a total of 169 wind turbines were installed during the second quarter over four states. Texas installed 200 MW, followed by Kansas with 72 MW, Nebraska with 36 MW, and a single turbine installed in Iowa.

“For EGP-NA, the first half of 2016 has been marked with rapid growth, including the announcement of more than 720 MW of new wind capacity under construction,” said Jack Thirolf, Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs for Enel Green Power North America. “Not only are we seeing capacity growth, but also diversification of power purchasers as more commercial and industrial customers are attracted to the competitive pricing and long-term stability that clean wind energy can deliver.”

The 18,200 MW labelled as currently under construction is made up of more than 12,450 MW actively under construction, and 3,000 MW of new construction announcements made during the second quarter — an increase of 23% over the first quarter. Kansas is leading the way with 778 MW of new construction announcements, followed by Iowa with 771 MW and North Dakota with 400 MW.

Overall, Texas leads with nearly 18 GW of wind power installed, followed by Iowa with 6,365 MW and California with 5,662 MW.

Q2 2016 U.S. Wind Power Capacity, by State

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