Washington, D.C. [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The U.S. wind energy industry installed 5,244 megawatts (MW) in 2007, expanding the nation’s total wind power generating capacity by 45 percent in a single calendar year and injecting an investment of over $9 billion into the economy, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has announced. The new wind projects account for about 30 percent of the entire new power-producing capacity added nationally in 2007.
The U.S. wind power fleet now numbers 16,818 MW and spans 34 states. Texas led the way again in 2007 with 1,618 MW of capacity installed. American wind farms will generate an estimated 48 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind energy in 2008
Wind power’s strong performance is expected to continue this year, with AWEA’s initial estimates indicating that 2008 could equal 2007 in new wind capacity installed. Developers report that with strong demand for wind power across the country, wind turbines are sold out for the year.
“This is the third consecutive year of record-setting growth, establishing wind power as one of the largest sources of new electricity supply for the country,” said AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher. “This remarkable and accelerating growth is driven by strong demand, favorable economics, and a period of welcome relief from the on-again, off-again, boom-and-bust, cycle of the federal production tax credit (PTC) for wind power.”