Distributed Energy Resources

Report details high level of wind power PPAs in Q1 2018

Wind power project developers signed 3,560 megawatts of power purchase agreements during the first quarter of 2018, the strongest quarter for PPA announcements since the American Wind Energy Association began tracking PPA activity in 2013, AWEA recently reported.

AWEA recently issued its U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2018 Market Report. According to the report, the U.S. wind industry installed 406 megawatts during the first quarter of 2018, bringing total U.S. installed wind power capacity to 89,379 MW across 41 states.”

The report also notes that, “project developers reported a combined 33,449 MW of wind capacity under construction or in advanced development as of the end of the first quarter, a 40% year-over-year increase and the highest level since AWEA began tracking both categories in 2016.” Utilities also announced 1,379 MW of planned wind capacity additions under direct ownership. Other key takeaways from the report include:

2018 Wind Project Installations

  • A total of seven new wind projects were commissioned across seven states during the first quarter. Texas led with 200 MW installed, followed by California (131 MW), Michigan (44 MW), and Montana (25 MW).
  • There are now 89,379 MW of cumulative installed wind capacity in the United States, with more than 54,000 wind turbines operating in 41 states plus Guam and Puerto Rico.
  • GE Renewable Energy and Vestas captured a combined 99% of the U.S. wind turbine market during the first quarter.

Wind Capacity Under Construction or in Advanced Development

  • Project developers announced projects totaling 1,366 MW started construction and a further 4,158 MW entered the advanced development phase during the first quarter, a combined 5,523 MW in new announcements.
  • Consistent with the previous quarter, 28% of combined activity is located in the Midwest. An additional 22% is located in the Mountain West region, followed by the Plains states (20%) and Texas (19%).

Wind Power Procurement Activity

  • Utilities signed 69% (2,461 MW) of first quarter PPA capacity, including Missouri-based Great Plains Energy, Missouri-based Associated Electric Cooperative, and Public Service Company of New Mexico.
  • Corporate customers signed 31% (1,099 MW) of capacity contracted in the first quarter, with six companies signing wind PPAs for the first time.
  • Utilities announced 1,379 MW of planned wind capacity additions under direct ownership during the first quarter, including PacifiCorp (1,111 MW) and DTE Energy (168 MW). This activity contributes to a total of 10,220 MW in total announcements made since the beginning of 2016.