The U.S. wind industry experienced its third-strongest year on record in 2019, as developers added 9,143 megawatts of wind power capacity to the grid – up 20% from 2018, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reports.
The industry had its fourth-strongest quarter on record in the final three months of 2019, installing 5,746 MW of new wind projects, Kallanish Energy finds.
There are now 105,583 MW of wind energy operating in the U.S., with nearly 60,000 wind turbines spinning across 41 states and two U.S. territories.
Texas & Iowa continue to lead
Fifty-five new wind farms across 19 states came online last year AWEA reported. Texas and Iowa have long been the country’s wind energy leaders, and they held onto that title in 2019. Texas added nearly 4,000 MW of new projects last year, and Iowa added over 1,700 MW. For both states, those are new records for single year installations.
Illinois, South Dakota, and Kansas rounded out the top five states for the year. Iowa is now the second state, with over 10,000 MW of operating wind capacity, while Illinois became the sixth state with over 5,000 MW of wind.
Fourth-quarter 2019 saw “significant” growth as developers installed 35 new wind projects totaling 5,476 MW in 16 states.
Texas led installations
Texas led installations for the quarter with 1,808 MW, followed by Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Illinois.
Demand for wind power reached new highs in 2019, as utilities and corporate buyers announced a record 8,726 MW of power purchase agreements. Utilities represented 60% of power purchase activity for the year at a total of 5,266 MW, the highest volume for utilities on record.
The top three purchasers for the year were Northern Indiana Public Service Co., Walmart and AT&T. Corporate buyers accounted for 40% of annual wind energy contracts last year with a total of 3,640 MW of contracts.
Baker Hughes signs wind pact
In the fourth quarter, power purchasers announced 2,077 MW of wind contracts, with six companies signing contracts for the first time, including oilfield services firm Baker Hughes Co., Estee Lauder, and McDonalds.
In the offshore wind market, East Coast states continued to demonstrate their commitment to offshore wind power, according to AWEA. Six states announced 16,300 MW of new offshore wind targets in 2019 alone, more than doubling total state targets to 25,000 MW.
States also moved forward with offshore wind project selection. In the fourth quarter, Massachusetts selected the 804 MW Mayflower Wind project, while Connecticut selected the 804 MW Park City Wind project. New York state signed contracts with two projects: Orsted and Eversource’s 880 MW Sunrise Wind project and Equinor’s 816 MW Empire Wind project.
With these announcements, states have selected a total 6,297 MW of offshore wind projects. Offshore wind farms now represent 17% of the overall wind development pipeline.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.