Saturday, May 14, 2005

Continued Growth Of Wind Energy Industry In The United States

Annual Rankings Demonstrate Continued Growth Of Wind Energy Industry In The United States
Posted by Patriot on 2005/5/13 7:24:47 (341 reads)

Annual Rankings Demonstrate Continued Growth Of Wind Energy Industry In The United States
Most Populous States, Recognized Corporate Leaders Continue to Hold Top Rankings in 2004; New Players Emerging
Washington, D.C. – On the eve of WINDPOWER 2005, expected to be the wind industry’s largest-ever annual conference and exhibition in North America, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) today released its second annual industry rankings of wind energy development in the United States. The rankings, which include the top states for wind energy development, the top suppliers of wind energy turbines and the top developers and purchasers of wind energy, provide a useful perspective on the size and scope of the American wind industry.

At the end of 2004, wind energy facilities in 30 states totalled 6,740 megawatts of energy capacity from coast to coast, producing enough power for the equivalent of 1.6 million households.

The annual industry rankings tell the rest of the story, providing a standard reference point for the burgeoning growth of the wind industry in the United States. Wind continues to be one of the fastest growing energy sources in the world and in the nation. The entrance into the U.S. market of major new players signals that pace will continue in 2005: in the past eight months, international power plant developer AES, global power generation giant Siemens, and international financial industry leader Goldman Sachs each entered the American wind energy business with purchases of major wind energy companies.

“The American wind industry is an economic, environmental and energy success story,” declared AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher. “Despite ongoing challenges facing the industry such as the imminent expiration of the federal production tax credit, the relevance of wind energy to the nation’s energy mix is increasingly being recognized by the nation’s economic and energy leaders. This year’s industry rankings demonstrate that wind energy remains on a track that would allow it to provide six percent of the nation’s electricity by 2020.”

The rankings (as of December 31, 2004) include the following:

States with most wind energy installed, by capacity (MW):

#1 California - 2,096 MW
#2 Texas - 1,293 MW
#3 Iowa - 632 MW
#4 Minnesota - 615 MW
#5 Wyoming - 285 MW

Largest wind farms operating the U.S. (MW):

# 1 Stateline, Oregon-Washington - 300 MW
# 2 King Mountain, Texas - 278 MW
# 3 New Mexico Wind Energy Center, New Mexico - 204 MW
# 4 Storm Lake, Iowa - 193 MW
# 5 Colorado Green, Colorado - 162 MW
# 5 High Winds, California - 162 MW

Leading owners of wind energy installations in the U.S. (MW):

#1 FPL Energy - 2,758 MW
#2 Shell Wind Energy - 315 MW
#3 AEP – 311 MW
#4 enXco – 298 MW
#5 PPM Energy - 225 MW

Utilities/power companies that buy the most wholesale wind power (MW purchased):

#1 Southern California Edison purchases the output from 1,025 MW of wind power
#2 Xcel Energy purchases the output from 884 MW
#3 Pacific Gas & Electric Co. purchases the output from 680 MW
#4 PPM Energy purchases the output from 606 MW (for resale)
#5 TXU purchases the output from 580 MW

As AWEA reported in its first quarter market release in April 2005, the installed capacity number for 2005 could increase by as much as 35% over 2004. The current forecast calls for up to 2,500 megawatts of new wind power capacity installed in the United States this year, which would bring the national total to more than 9,000 megawatts of clean, renewable, wind-derived electricity.

However, the pending expiration of the wind energy production tax credit at the end of 2005 threatens to stall this remarkable growth in 2006 and later years. With ever-increasing demand for energy, and wind’s energy, economic and environmental benefits, the need for clear, consistent policies to encourage wind’s continued development remains urgent.

“The industry has proven over the past several years that it can ramp up quickly to meet demand, as evidenced by the figures in our second annual industry rankings of wind energy development,” explained Swisher. “With stable policy support, investments will flow on an even larger scale into the U.S. wind energy market. We hope that Congress will recognize that approving a long-term extension of the production tax incentive is key to extending this remarkable record of accomplishment.”

AWEA, formed in 1974, is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. The association’s membership includes turbine manufacturers, wind project developers, utilities, academicians, and interested individuals. More information on wind energy is available at the AWEA web site: