Texas Leads in U.S. Wind Power Record Year

A Wind Power Record is Set in 2012 for U.S. Commercial Wind Energy With Texas Leading the Way


| 12/03/2012



Texas Leads in U.S. Wind Power Record Year

 Texas leads the nation with 1,291 mw under construction,followed by California (1,022 mw); Kansas (836 mw); Oklahoma(734 mw); Iowa (597 mw); Colorado (496 mw); Illinois (480 mw) and Michigan (472 mw). In total, 10 states areon track to add at least 500 mw of wind this year with Texas,California, Kansasand Oklahomaon track to add over 1,000 mw each. 


Photo by Fotolia/Michael Flippo

The following information was provided by an Oct. 18, 2012 press release from the American Wind Energy Association and a Nov. 16, 2012 release from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. 

In October, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reported that the success of the federal Production Tax Credit and wind energy’s increased affordability are helping drive turbine installations to record levels in America.

The U.S. wind industry in August for the first time surpassed 50,000 megawatts (MW) of total installed electrical generation capacity – enough to power 13 million homes. America has added 4,728 mw of wind power so far this year with another 8,430 mw currently under construction.

Factors for the strong year so far include:

  • Greatly expanded U.S. manufacturing, which now makes up to nearly 70 percent of the value of U.S.-installed equipment, cutting transportation costs
  • Technological advances, such as higher towers and longer blades, which make turbines more efficient and further drive down costs
  • The fact that more electric utilities are locking in 20- to 25-year contracts for lower-priced wind power, to the benefit of their consumers
  • The federal Production Tax Credit for renewable energy, which has been kept continuously in place since 2005 and currently extends to the end of the year

“This is what a successful policy looks like when it’s working, but whether wind will continue to be a bright spot in the U.S. economy now depends on whether Congress acts to extend the Production Tax Credit by the end of the year,” said Denise Bode, CEO of AWEA.

Wind Power Tax Credit

 

The tax credit incentivizes over $15 billion a year in private investment in U.S. wind farms. It currently is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2012. A proposal to extend the tax credit for projects that start construction next year won bipartisan support from the Senate Finance Committee on Aug. 2, as part of an overall “tax extenders” package. It now awaits action by the full Congress, expected in its lame duck session after the election.





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