US wind installations see slowest quarter in years, with 288 MW connected: report

Source: By Diana DiGangi, Utility Dive • Posted: Sunday, December 10, 2023

The third quarter of 2023 was the slowest quarter for wind energy capacity additions that the sector has seen since 2018, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The third quarter of 2023 saw U.S. wind installations “crater,” adding only 288 MW of capacity – the slowest quarter for new wind energy in the country in the past five years, according to a new report from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

In terms of capacity additions, it was the lowest quarter for the wind energy sector since the second quarter of 2018, when 152 MW were added. The first and second quarters of this year saw capacity additions of 1,772 and 1,099 MW, respectively.

The slow quarter is an “aberration” this year, and stands in contrast with surging solar energy installations in the same quarter, said S&P Global.

“Still, with new federal incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act, 2024 looks brighter for developers, with 17,040 MW scheduled for commissioning next year,” the report said. “Of that capacity, 2,736 MW is under construction.”

2023 has also been a slower year overall for U.S. wind installations, said S&P Global. As of the third quarter, 3,159 MW of capacity has been installed, compared to the 5,361 MW that had been installed by the same time last year.

“More recently, solar power capacity additions have outpaced that of wind as renewable energy developers look to take advantage of large markets where the sun shines bright, such as in Texas,” the report said. “The boom in battery storage installations, often co-located next to solar energy generators, has also contributed to more demand for solar energy in states looking to decarbonize power grids.”

In comparison, solar developers installed 6.5 GW of new capacity in the third quarter of this year alone. Wind developers haven’t installed that much new capacity in a single quarter since the third quarter of 2020, when they added 9,565 MW.

The five-year pipeline of wind in development shrank slightly in Q3 from 79,972 to 72,885 MW, according to the firm’s data. 2,248 MW was taken out of that pipeline last month, when Danish developer Ørsted canceled two of its New Jersey offshore wind projects, Ocean Wind 1 and 2, which had an estimated completion year of 2025.

“Of the total pipeline for projects for 2023–2027, about 11%, or 8,358 MW, is under construction; 23%, or 16,403 MW, is in advanced development; 43%, or 31,559 MW, is in early development; and 23%, or 16,564 MW, represent projects in the announced phase,” said S&P Global.