The US wind energy industry currently has a record amount of wind energy capacity under construction, coming out of a second quarter which installed 626 megawatts of new capacity, serving to push the country’s cumulative wind energy capacity total over the 90 gigawatts (GW) mark.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) published its US Wind Industry Second Quarter 2018 Market Report this week, reporting on the market data and industry trends through the second quarter of 2018, and it’s good news all around.
Specifically, the second quarter saw a total of 626 MW of new wind capacity come online — a 75% increase in installations over the lacklustre second quarter of 2017 — bringing the year-to-date figure up to 1,032 MW. This also served to push total installations across the US over the 90 GW mark — up to 90,004 MW — providing clean electricity to the equivalent of 27 million homes.
More impressive, however, is the amount of wind that began construction and is currently under construction across the country. The second quarter saw 5,322 MW worth of wind capacity begin construction, bringing total construction activity up to a record 18,987 MW. On top of projects actively under construction, the US wind energy industry saw another 3,901 MW enter advanced development, pushing the total to 18,806 MW, and bringing the country’s near-term pipeline to an impressive 37,794 MW.
“Wind power’s job-creating engine just kicked into a higher gear,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “And all Americans will benefit as the record number of wind farms under construction begin delivering new revenue to rural communities and affordable homegrown energy to consumers.”
Five new wind projects were commissioned in the second quarter across three states, unsurprisingly led by the country’s wind energy powerhouse, Texas, which brought online 464 MW, followed by Illinois with 132 MW and then Nebraska with 30 MW. Texas still leads the nation in terms of total capacity, with 23,262 MW installed — more than triple that of any other state. Texas completed the 300 MW Santa Rita wind farm (seen right), the 160 MW Rattlesnake Wind project, and the 3.57 MW onsite wind project for the US Advanced Wind Turbine Test Facility at West Texas A&M University. In addition was the 132 MW Bishop Hill wind farm completed in Illinois, and the 30 MW Kimball Wind Farm in Nebraska.