- Buoyed by a reworked production tax credit (PTC) that covers projects started by the end of 2014, the U.S. wind industry is once again building, with over 14,000 megawatts of new capacity put in construction so far this year, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Q2 2014 Market Report.
- Only 1,083 megawatts of new capacity went into service in 2013, but 15 wind projects have come online in 2014, 217 megawatts in Q1 and 619 megawatts in Q2, putting U.S. cumulative installed capacity at 61,946 megawatts.
- 109 projects comprised of 14,600 megawatts are in-construction, though 3,800 megawatts of 9,400 megawatts with completed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) have not yet started construction.
Before 2013, the PTC only covered projects in service by the end of the tax credit’s term but the current, reworked PTC allows projects that start construction by the end of 2014 to qualify. An extension of the PTC through the end of 2015 could be enacted if Congress passes the EXPIRE Act, which includes extensions of 62 different tax policies important to business and individual taxpayers.
Texas leads the U.S. with some 8,300 megawatts of in-construction wind capacity, and 20 mostly Midwest and Great Plains states have another 6,200 megawatts of wind capacity in construction.
Texas led the U.S. with 12,753 megawatts of installed wind capacity at the close of Q2, followed by California at 5,829 megawatts, Iowa at 5,177 megawatts, Illinois at 3,568 megawatts, Oregon at 3,153 megawatts, and Oklahoma at 3,134 megawatts.
Two growing trends to watch are (1) big names like Google, IKEA, MARS, and Microsoft contracting for or investing in projects to have access to their own wind and (2) commercial-industrial companies building their own on-site wind turbines.