The US production tax credit program continues to have a strong pull on wind energy activity in the country. There was just over 29,600 MW of wind capacity under construction or in advanced development in the US at the end of the third quarter, the highest level ever reported, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s market report released Thursday. AWEA said that 13,759 MW was under construction and 15,875 MW in advanced development at the end of September. That total represents a 27% increase over Q3 2016.
Project developers installed 534 MW of new wind generation in July, August and September. AWEA said that that brings to 2,892 MW of newly installed wind generation capacity in the first nine months of this year. “There are now 84,944 MW of installed wind capacity in the US,” said the report. The country’s wind capacity has more than tripled over the past 10 years. In 2008 there was just over 25,000 MW of wind installed. Of the 534 MW installed in Q3, 402 MW were installed in Texas, 100 MW in Indiana, 30 MW in New Mexico and 2 MW in California, the report. There are now 21,450 MW of wind capacity installed in Texas, according to AWEA.
In the third quarter, US utilities announced plans to develop and own 3,040 MW of wind capacity, which, AWEA said, brings to 8,840 MW in utility announcements made since the start of 2016.
“New announcements include AEP’s 2,000-MW Wind Catcher project in Oklahoma and Alliant Energy’s 500-MW New Wind II project in Iowa,” AWEA noted. There were also four requests for proposals, or RFPs, released during the quarter for up to almost 4,000 MW of wind-eligible capacity. PacifiCorp’s request, AWEA noted, was for up to 1,270 MW.