TODAY’S STUDY: THE BOOM IN U.S. WIND
U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2015 Market Report
January 28, 2016 (American Wind Energy Association)
The American wind industry installed 5,001 megawatts (MW) during the fourth quarter of 2015, more installations than in all of 2014, according to data released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) today. Overall in 2015 the American wind industry installed 8,598 MW, the third largest amount ever installed in a year and a 77 percent increase over 2014.
The U.S. now has 74,472 MW of installed wind capacity and more than 52,000 operating wind turbines with over 9,400 MW of wind currently under construction and an additional 4,900 MW in advanced stages of development.
2015 Wind Project Installations
• During the fourth quarter of 2015, the U.S. wind industry installed 5,001 MW of wind power capacity, the second most active quarter on record. Developers installed more capacity during the fourth quarter than the first three quarters of 2015 combined, and more than the 4,854 MW installed in 2014.
• More than 4,300 turbines were installed across 37 projects in 17 different states. The most capacity was installed in Texas with 1,307 MW, followed by Oklahoma (853 MW), Kansas (599 MW), and Iowa (502 MW).
• Iowa is now ranked second in the nation with more than 6,000 MW of installed capacity, and Oklahoma now has over 5,000 MW installed. Connecticut installed the state’s first utility scale wind project during the fourth quarter, bringing the total number of states with online wind projects to 40 states.
• For the year, the U.S. wind industry installed a total of 8,598 MW. This represents a 77% increase over the 4,854 MW installed during 2014, and the third highest annual total in history.
• There are now 74,472 MW of installed wind capacity in the United States and more than 52,000 operating wind turbines.
Construction Activity and Near Term Wind Development
• Wind developers reported more than 9,400 MW of construction activity across 72 projects in 22 states plus Guam. This includes over 1,800 MW of new construction announcements made during the fourth quarter.
• Texas continues to host the majority of under construction activity with over 5,000 MW reported.
• Wind developers also reported over 4,900 MW of projects in advanced stages of development, with over 1,500 MW of new additions announced during the fourth quarter.
Power Purchaser Activity and Project Acquisitions
• More than 1,800 MW of PPAs were signed in the fourth quarter, contributing to the more than 4,000 MW of total PPAs signed during 2015.
• Non-utility customers increased their investment in wind. Approximately 75% of the MW contracted through PPAs during the fourth quarter were through companies including Procter & Gamble, General Motors, and Google Energy.
• *Utilities actively continued to buy wind, with more than 2,300 MW of installations during the fourth quarter attached to utility PPA contracts.
• In the emerging Southeastern states market, Southern Company commissioned an Oklahoma wind project during the fourth quarter and one additional Oklahoma wind project with a Gulf Power PPA came partially online.
• Companies completed a total of 3,733 MW in project acquisitions during 2015. SunEdison led in these acquisitions with 1,273 MW