US wind power development hits record levels in first quarter
U.S. wind power construction and development activity hit record levels in the first quarter, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2019 Market Report.
The report found that U.S. project developers announced new wind farms with a total capacity of 6,146 megawatts (MW) in the first quarter of 2019. That is more than the capacity of all the currently operational wind farms in California. This additional capacity brings the development pipeline to a record-breaking 39,161 MW, an 11 percent increase over the previous quarter. Eight states are on track to double their wind capacity.
“With nearly 40,000 MW in development, America’s largest source of renewable energy generating capacity is on a path to grow by 40 percent in the near term,” Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, said. “In doing so, we’ll create thousands of additional American jobs and new economic opportunities for factory towns and rural communities across the country.”
Texas has the most wind under construction with 6,528 MW in development.
The first quarter also saw the second strongest volume of power purchase agreements (PPAs) since AWEA began tracking procurement activity. Specifically, 2,717 MW of wind PPAs were signed. Utilities signed contracts totaling 2,694 MW, led by Northern Indiana Public Service Company and National Grid.