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U.S. Wind Energy Industry Installs Over 1,600 Megawatts in Third Quarter

October 23, 2009
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor
 
 

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reported today in its third quarter (Q3) market report that the U.S. wind energy industry installed 1,649 megawatts (MW) of new power generating capacity in the third quarter—an amount higher than either the 2nd quarter of 2009 or the 3rd quarter of 2008—bringing the total capacity added this year to date to over 5,800 MW. AWEA also reported that wind turbine manufacturing still lags below 2008 levels, in both production and new announcements. 
 
"Wind power installations are up, and that is good news for America's economy, environment, and energy security,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. "But manufacturing, which has the potential to employ many more Americans in good, clean energy jobs, remains uncertain. A firm, long-term national commitment to renewable energy is still needed for the U.S. to become a wind turbine manufacturing powerhouse and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
 
Since the early July announcement of rules to implement the stimulus bill, the wind industry has seen over 1,600 MW (enough to serve the equivalent of 480,000 average households) of completed projects, and over 1,700 MW of construction starts. These projects equate to about $6.5 billion in new investment.  AWEA does not expect the fourth quarter of 2009 to be as strong as the fourth quarter of 2008 since the 5,000 MW now under construction is nearly 38% lower than the over 8,000 MW under construction at this time last year.
 
The total wind power capacity now operating in the U.S. is over 31,000 MW, generating enough electricity to power the equivalent of nearly 9 million homes, avoiding the emissions of 57 million tons of carbon annually and reducing expected carbon emissions from the electricity sector by 2.5%.
 
The state posting the fastest growth rate in the third quarter was Arizona, which installed its first utility-scale project. Pennsylvania ranked 2nd in growth with 29%, followed by Illinois with 22%, Wyoming with 21%, and New Mexico with 20%.
 
Additional report highlights:
 
The top five states in additions for new capacity added in the third quarter are:
Texas
436 MW
Oregon
251 MW
Illinois
201 MW
Colorado
174 MW
Wyoming
170 MW
 
The top five states in total operating wind capacity are:
Texas
8,797 MW
Iowa
3,053 MW
California
2,787 MW
Minnesota
1,805 MW
Oregon
1,659 MW
 
 
AWEA will hold a webcast to present and discuss the findings of the Q3 market report on Wednesday, October 21, at 12:00pm ET. To register for the webcast go to https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/727161720.
 
The full Q3 market report is available on the AWEA website at http://www.awea.org/publications/reports/3Q09.pdf.  
 
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AWEA is the national trade association of America's wind industry, with more than 2,500 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the world's largest wind power trade show. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America.  Look up information on wind energy at the AWEA Web site. Find insight on industry issues at AWEA's blog Into the Wind. Join AWEA on Facebook. Follow AWEA on Twitter.
 
 

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