American wind industry posts record quarter

Source: By Dave Kovaleski, Daily Energy Insider • Posted: Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The U.S. wind industry set a record in the third quarter, installing nearly 2,000 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s Wind Powers America Third Quarter 2020 Market Report.

These strong third-quarter numbers bring the total American wind capacity to nearly 112,000 MW. The report says U.S. wind is on pace for a record year as installations through the third quarter are up 72 percent over the first nine months of 2019. Market fundamentals and consumer demand continue to drive U.S. wind development.

“This progress during the third quarter is a tremendous testament to the more than 120,000 wind workers in the U.S. who are on the ground every day striving to bring more clean, affordable electricity to communities across America, even in the midst of a global pandemic. Challenges remain, but the American wind industry will continue pushing to add jobs and investments to the U.S. economy as we look toward a cleaner, more reliable, and more prosperous energy future for our country,” Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, said.

During the quarter, 10 new wind projects totaling 1,934 MW started operations across nine states. Texas had the most with 687 MW of new wind projects installed, followed by Colorado (496 MW), Illinois (200 MW), Iowa (168 MW), and Indiana (147 MW). It’s worth noting that the two largest single-phase wind projects in U.S. history came online during the third quarter: the 525 MW Aviator Wind project in Texas and the 496 MW Cheyenne Ridge project in Colorado.

The wind power development and construction pipeline remained strong during the third quarter, despite disruptions from COVID-19. Project developers announced 2,420 MW in combined new development activity, with projects totaling 972 MW starting construction and an additional 1,448 MW entering advanced development. At the end of September, there was 43,575 MW of wind power capacity in the near-term pipeline, with 24,355 MW under construction and 19,220 MW in advanced development. Offshore wind makes up 47 percent of advanced development projects, with developers planning to bring 9,100 MW online by 2026.