U.S. wind industry installed 612 MW of new capacity in Q3

The U.S. wind industry installed 612 MW of new wind power capacity during the third quarter of 2018, a 15% increase in installations over the third quarter of 2017, the American Wind Energy Association said in a new report released in late October.

Year-to-date the industry has commissioned 1,644 MW of wind power capacity, AWEA’s “U.S. Wind Industry Third Quarter 2018 Market Report” reported.

The report said that a total of 11 new wind projects were commissioned across seven states during the third quarter. Texas led with 216 MW installed, followed by Oklahoma (199 MW), and Ohio (108 MW).

In addition to new capacity additions, developers completed 329 MW of partial repowerings across three projects in the third quarter.

There are now 90,550 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.

Meanwhile, construction activity reached a new record of 20,798 MW at the end of the third quarter, with an additional 17,167 MW in advanced development. The combined 37,965 MW represent a 28% year-over-year increase.

Projects totaling 2,180 MW started construction and a further 2,327 MW entered advanced development during the third quarter, a combined 4,507 MW in new announcements, AWEA said.

At the regional level, 33% of combined activity is located in the Midwest, 21% in Texas, 20% in the Mountain West and 15% in the Plains states.

Procurement activity

Project developers announced 2,467 MW of new PPAs in the third quarter, bringing year-to-date activity to 7,550 MW and PPA activity in the first three quarters already exceeds total PPA volumes in each of the past four years, according to the report.

Utilities signed contracts for 1,522 MW of wind capacity in the third quarter, with Eversource Energy, National Grid, and Unitil procuring 800 MW from the Vineyard Wind offshore project.

Corporate and other non-utility customers signed 38% (945 MW) of capacity contracted in the third quarter, including eight first time wind buyers.

Through the first three quarters alone, 2018 is already the most active year for corporate and non-utility PPAs, surpassing the record previously set in 2015.