310 MW of wind installed in 2Q; 12,450 MW under construction

The United States wind industry installed 310 MW during the second quarter of 2016, bringing cumulative year-to-date installations to 830 MW, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reported July 26.

There are now more than 12,450 MW of new domestic wind capacity under construction, with an additional 5,800 MW in advanced stages of development, AWEA said in its quarterly market update.

The 12,450 MW of wind capacity currently under construction marks a 23% increase over the first quarter of this year, AWEA said.

The nation now has an installed capacity of 74,821 MW, bringing it close to the 75,000 MW mark, AWEA officials said during a conference call.

More than 1,800 MW of power purchased agreements (PPAs) were announced during the second quarter of 2016, the second highest volume of announcements since the beginning of 2014. Electric utilities and cooperatives emerged to sign 81% of the contracted capacity during the second quarter. Corporate and other large-scale customers of wind, including Google Energy and Dow Chemical, announced the remaining capacity.

GE Renewable Energy, Siemens, and Vestas installed 99% of the 830 MW commissioned during the first half of 2016.

During the call, AWEA officials said that the wind industry is benefitting from the stability that resulted from the five-year renewal of the production tax credit (PTC) by congress in late 2015.

AWEA officials said that seven out of 10 congressional districts now include some wind industry presence. Trade group officials think that wind energy can double its 5% share of U.S. electric generation within a few years.

Announcements include both the 2,000 MW Wind XI project by MidAmerican Energy in Iowa, as well as the 600 MW Rush Creek project by Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) in Colorado.

Here are a few other takeaways from the quarterly report:

• Texas led the country during the second quarter with 200 MW of wind capacity installed, followed by Kansas (72 MW), Nebraska (36 MW), and a single turbine installation in Iowa.

• Given construction activity, Oklahoma and Kansas are both on pace to become the third- and fifth-ranked states in installed capacity by the end of 2016, respectively, overtaking California and Illinois.

• With 400 MW under construction, Nebraska is soon expected to be the 18th state to join the “Gigawatt Club” – with more than 1,000 MW of installed capacity.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.