By - Jim Vess

Wind power installations have a strong second quarter led by big projects in Texas, Michigan and Nebraska

Energize Weekly, August 8, 2018

A total of 626 megawatts (MW) of new wind generating capacity was installed in the second quarter of 2018—a 75 percent increase over the first quarter of 2017, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) quarterly market report.

The second-quarter figure was also up 54 percent from the first quarter of 2018. So far this year, more than 1 gigawatt of wind power has been installed this year.

There were five new wind projects commission in three states—Texas, Michigan and Nebraska—in the quarter. Since the beginning of the year, there have also been projects commissioned in California and Illinois. 

Texas led with 464 MW of installed capacity, followed by Illinois with 132 MW and Nebraska with 30 MW. 

At the end of the quarter, developers reported 18,987 MW of capacity under construction and 18,806 MW in advanced design for a total of 37,794 MW, a 46 percent year-over-year increase, and the highest level of combined activity since AWEA began tracking both categories at the beginning of 2016.

Project developers signed purchase power agreements during the second quarter for a total of 5,083 MW for the year. Utilities announced plans to add 1,491 MW of company-owned wind capacity. The majority of that capacity will be built by MidAmerican Energy Co. (591 MW) and Ameren Missouri (400 MW).

Developers announced 9,223 MW in combined new activity during the second quarter, with projects totaling 5,322 MW starting construction and 3,901 MW entering the advanced development phase.

The 193 projects are spread across 33 states, with four regions dominating the activity—the Midwest with 31 percent of capacity, Texas with 21 percent, the Mountain West with 19 percent and the Plains states also with 19 percent.

The turbine manufacturers that dominated the market were GE Renewable Energy and Vestas, with the two accounting for 84 percent of the sales in the first half of 2018. Goldwind captured 16 percent of the market.

There is now a total 90,004 MW of installed wind capacity in the United States, with more than 54,000 wind turbines operating in 41 states, plus Guam and Puerto Rico.

Texas continues to lead in installed capacity with 23,262 MW. Oklahoma is in second place with 7,495 MW, followed by Iowa 7,312 MW, California 5,686 MW and Illinois 4,464 MW.

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