New Wind Installations Continue in U.S. at Record Pace

The U.S. wind energy industry continued new installations at a breakneck pace in the first quarter of 2008. In its quarterly market report, released May 7, the American Wind Energy Assn. (AWEA) said U.S. wind farms put 1,400 megawatts (MW) or approximately $3 billion (USD) worth of new generating capacity in place.

The U.S. wind energy industry continued new installations at a breakneck pace in the first quarter of 2008. In its quarterly market report, released May 7, the American Wind Energy Assn. (AWEA) said U.S. wind farms put 1,400 megawatts (MW) or approximately $3 billion (USD) worth of new generating capacity in place.

“These new wind power plants — enough to serve the equivalent of 400,000 homes — coupled with investment in 17 new manufacturing facilities over the past year-and-a-quarter show that, with consistent policy support, America’s wind industry can deliver the goods in terms of clean energy and new clean technology jobs,” comments AWEA’s executive director Randall Swisher.

The new wind power facilities installed this quarter span 10 states and bring total U.S. wind power capacity to over 18,000 MW, or enough to serve the equivalent of 5 million homes. Texas accounted for more than half of this new capacity and now has well in excess of 5,000 MW installed. More than 4,000 MW of projects are now also under construction nationwide.
Additionally, AWEA reports an increase in the share of U.S.-made wind turbine components — from less than 30 percent to approximately 50 percent in three years. Prior to 2005, AWEA estimates that less than one-third of components were manufactured domestically. The group estimates that by the end of 2008, approximately half of turbine components for turbines installed in the U.S. will be produced domestically.