Ashleigh Cotting for SNL:
Wind installations in the United States totaled 4,420 MW during fourth quarter 2015, making it the best quarter for the industry since fourth quarter 2012. Fourth-quarter installations accounted for 53% of all new wind capacity brought online in 2015.
Texas and Oklahoma combined for nearly half of the installed capacity, totaling 2,180 MW between the two states. Texas accounted for 30% of the capacity, with a total of 1,326 MW installed across nine projects, and Oklahoma accounted for 19% of the capacity, with a total of 853 MW installed across five projects.
The largest project brought online during the quarter was Southern Co.’s 299-MW Kay County Wind Project in Oklahoma. Texas was home to the second-largest project to come online during the quarter. The 250-MW Javelina Wind CISD is located in Webb County and owned by NextEra Energy Inc.
A total of 1,970 MW of wind was announced during the quarter. The largest announced project during the period was the 1,000-MW Bay State Offshore Wind facility, owned by DONG Energy. The facility, which would be installed off the coast of Massachusetts, is projected to cost $4.2 billion. The project has an in-service date of 2025. No offshore wind plants are currently in operation within the United States, so the likelihood that all 1,000 MW of the project will come online is unclear.
The second-largest project announced during the quarter is also slated to be located offshore. The 400-MW Barbers Point Wind Offshore Wind is owned by Progression Energy and will be installed off the coast of Hawaii. The $1.6 billion facility is scheduled to be online in 2022.
As of Feb. 2, there were 49 GW of wind capacity in various stages of development across the U.S., with 5,509 MW, or 11%, under construction. Another 6,910 MW, or 14%, was in advanced development. S&P Global Market Intelligence considers a wind project to be in advanced development when two of the following five criteria are met: financing is in place, a power purchase agreement is signed, turbines are secured, required permits are approved or a contractor has signed on to the project.
Just over 21 GW of the capacity in development is scheduled to come online in 2016. However, the recent extension of the production tax credit could take some pressure off wind energy development in 2016 and allow developers to push back the online date for some of the projects.
Wyoming had the most wind project capacity in advanced development, with 3,080 MW, while Texas led. in projects under construction, with 2,336 MW.