October 31, 2018 Read More →

AWEA: Record amount of U.S. wind power under construction

Windpower Engineering & Development:

Seven states, from Nebraska to Massachusetts, will soon build enough wind turbines to more than double their capacity to generate clean and reliable wind energy, according to the American Wind Energy Association U.S. Wind Industry Third Quarter 2018 Market Report released today. The report also reveals the first firm orders for 4-MW land-based wind turbines, nearly twice as powerful as the average wind turbine installed in 2017.

Nationally, the low cost and reliability of wind power continued to drive strong industry growth in the third quarter. Significantly, seven states now have enough wind projects under construction or in advanced stages of development to more than double their capacity to generate electricity from the wind when they are completed. Those include heartland states with land-based wind under development — Arkansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Wyoming — as well as coastal states Maryland and Massachusetts, where offshore wind is poised to scale up.

The average utility-scale wind turbine installed in 2017 was rated at 2.32 MW, enough to power over 750 American homes for a full year. More powerful wind turbines are on the horizon. In the third quarter, new orders for wind turbines include land-based turbines above 4 MW for the first time, which are capable of powering 1,400 homes a year. To put the significance of this technological advance in context, only two operating land-based wind farms currently use turbines rated above 3.5 MW. That will soon change as the industry quickly embraces new technology; there are currently 12 more projects in development that plan to use turbines rated above 3.5 MW. Offshore wind turbines can be even more powerful, with turbines typically rated above 6 MW.

U.S. wind farms now represent a total 90,550 MW of electricity generating capacity, with 612 MW installed in the third quarter of 2018. That’s enough wind power capacity to power 27 million average U.S. homes, with more than 54,000 wind turbines operating in 41 states plus Guam and Puerto Rico.

There is a strong near-term wind farm pipeline comprised of 37,965 MW of wind-power capacity. These wind farms are either actively under construction or have entered advanced stages of development through a major milestone such as placing a turbine order or finding a buyer for their power. During the third quarter, projects totaling 2,180 MW started construction and a further 2,327 MW entered advanced development.

More: Seven states to soon double their wind power as Q3 development picks up, finds AWEA

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