US Wind Pipeline Grew by 6.14 GW in the Q1 2019: Report

A burst of new wind farm announcements in the first quarter of 2019 propelled the total volume of U.S. wind power construction and development activity to a record level according to the newly released U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2019 Market Report

US Wind Pipeline

The American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) report reveals that U.S. project developers announced new wind farms with a total capacity of 6,146 megawatts (MW) in the first quarter of 2019, which is more than the capacity of all the currently operational wind farms in California. The additional capacity brings the U.S. construction and advanced development pipeline to a record-breaking 39,161 MW, an 11 percent increase over the previous quarter. Eight states are now on track to double their installed wind capacity.   

“With nearly 40,000 MW in development, America’s largest source of renewable energy generating capacity is on a path to grow by 40 percent in the near term,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “In doing so, we’ll create thousands of additional American jobs and new economic opportunities for factory towns and rural communities across the country.”  

Of the total wind pipeline, 17,213 MW were under construction across 21 states at the end of the first quarter. Texas boasted the most wind under construction with 6,528 MW—1,255 MW of which is new this year. Project developers also reported 21,949 MW of wind capacity in the advanced development stage, which also reached a record level. Projects in advanced development have not yet begun construction but are likely to come online in the near term because they have either signed a long-term contract, placed turbine orders or are proceeding under utility ownership.

A total of 841 MW of wind projects came online during the first quarter, elevating the country’s total installed capacity to 97,223 MW. Iowa led the nation in new capacity installations with 536 MW brought online. This continues the robust growth the industry has seen in recent years.

The industry’s strong development pipeline is feeding growing U.S. demand for low-cost, clean energy. The first quarter of 2019 saw the second strongest volume of power purchase agreements (PPAs) since AWEA began tracking procurement activity, with 2,717 MW of wind PPAs signed. Utilities signed contracts totaling 2,694 MW, led by Northern Indiana Public Service Company and National Grid. In addition, utilities announced plans to build and own 1,049 MW of wind in the first quarter, underscoring continued utility appetite to own and rate-base wind projects.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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