Great First Three Months of 2021: Installed Wind Power in U.S. up by 40%

The American Clean Power Association (ACP) released its Clean Power Quarterly Market Report last week, which shows that U.S. project developers installed nearly 40% more wind power in the first three months of 2021 than in the first three months of 2020, the strongest year ever for clean power.

This amount of development also represents nearly three times the amount of wind added to the U.S. grid in the first quarter of 2019. Utility-scale solar and energy storage also had strong first quarters, keeping pace with or exceeding historic levels.

The ACP is the leading federation of renewable energy companies expediting the advancement of clean energy as the dominant power source in America. The association enables the transformation of the U.S. power grid to a low-cost, reliable and renewable power system. By uniting the power of wind, solar, transmission and storage companies and their allied industries, both public and private, ACP aims to champion policies that enable the continued and aggressive growth in renewable energy in the United States.

Heather Zichal, ACP CEO, said, “These numbers add up to one word: momentum. We are already exceeding the pace from the strongest previous year ever for clean power. This trend will only grow when more closely aligned with smart policy in Washington.”

Thirteen new wind projects, 15 utility-scale solar projects, and 2 energy storage projects became operational during the first quarter, enough to power nearly 1 million American homes. The top five states for first quarter additions include Texas (791 MW), Oklahoma (555 MW), California (519 MW), South Dakota (462 MW), and North Dakota (299 MW).

America’s first wind project in federal waters, Dominion Energy’s 12 MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, became operational during the first quarter. Meanwhile, federal regulators released their final assessment of the planned 800 MW Vineyard Wind project, the first utility-scale offshore wind farm in the country. The Biden-Harris administration also announced an achievable goal of 30,000 MW of offshore wind in the U.S. by the end of this decade. These developments during the quarter are helping set the stage for the country’s transition to majority renewable energy by the end of this decade.

In total, there are now over 173,000 MW of clean power capacity operating in the U.S, enough to power over 50 million homes across the country and more than double the U.S. capacity just five years ago. And more is on the way, with over 84,000 MW of clean power capacity under construction or in advanced development across the U.S, including about 35,000 MW of wind and 44,000 MW of solar. That near-term project pipeline is more than the total amount of clean power on the U.S. grid at the end of 2015.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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