US installed wind capacity

US installed wind capacity

December 18, 2018 | By Keith Martin in Washington, DC

US installed wind capacity stood at 90,550 megawatts at the end of the third quarter 2018, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

There are operating wind farms in 41 states, Guam and Puerto Rico.

The average wind turbine installed in 2017 was 2.32 megawatts. However, new orders in the third quarter included the first orders for onshore turbines above 4.0 megawatts.

AWEA says there is a near-term pipeline of 37,965 megawatts of projects moving to market. “Near term” means the projects are either actively under construction or they passed a major milestone like signing a power purchase agreement and placing a turbine order.

The number of corporate PPAs signed by wind companies this year has already set a record. It was 2,700 megawatts at mid-year. Total corporate PPAs signed this year for all renewables reached 6,430 megawatts in December, a record.

Wind companies signed 1,522 megawatts of PPAs with utilities in the third quarter, bringing the total through September to more than 6,100 megawatts. Development of new projects had slowed in 2017 due to uncertainty about tax reform and tariffs, but originations have picked up significantly this year because of growing demand not only from corporations who want to buy renewable energy, but also from utilities that have decided it is time to lock in low wind electricity prices before the tax credits for wind farms disappear.