January 30 (Renewables Now) - The US commissioned more than 9 GW of new wind power generation capacity in 2019, making it the third strongest year in terms of capacity additions ever.
This was announced on Wednesday by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) in its fourth-quarter market report. Wind farms with a combined capacity of 9,143 MW were brought online in the past year. An additional 44,000 MW of projects are either under construction or in advanced development, representing a combined investment of over USD 62 billion (EUR 56.3bn).
The new capacity connected to the grid in 2019 brought the country’s cumulative installed wind capacity to 105,583 MW.
“Today, there are nearly 60,000 wind turbines spinning across 41 states powering the equivalent of over 32 million American homes. Demand for wind energy is greater than ever as evidenced by corporations and utilities signing contracts in record numbers,” said AWEA’s CEO Tom Kiernan.
In the fourth quarter alone, the US switched on 5,476 MW of fresh capacity in 16 states, headed by Texas with 1,808 MW of new operational wind farms. Texas also led the country in terms of new 2019 capacity after almost 4 GW of wind parks went online there, with Iowa coming second with 1.7 GW.
Speaking about buying electricity, a new record was also set in 2019 as utilities and businesses clinched deals to buy a total of 8,726 MW wind power. Utilities accounted for 60% with 5,266 MW of power purchase agreements (PPAs), while corporations were responsible for the remaining 3,640 MW of contracts. The top three buyers of wind power in the utility category were Northern Indiana Public Service Company, Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and AT&T (NYSE:T). Some of the corporate purchasers that signed wind PPAs for the first time were oil and gas company Baker Hughes, cosmetics chain Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) and McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD).
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.908)