Advanced-stage US projects increase in Q2

UNITED STATES: More than 18.2GW of US wind power capacity is being built or in an advanced stage of development, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

US wind capacity now stands at 74.8GW (pic: Siemens)

AWEA said the total in advanced stages is up from 15.2GW at the end of the first quarter.

Major utilities also announced plans during the second quarter of 2016 to develop and own up to 2.6GW of new wind energy generating capacity, said the trade group.

That included MidAmerican Energy's announcement that it would invest $3.6 billion in the 2GW Wind XI project in Iowa.

"Smart utilities and other customers are locking-in prices at record lows by starting construction this year to qualify for the full-value PTC," said AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan.

The production tax credit (PTC) was extended for five years in December 2015. Wind projects that begin construction before the end of 2016 will benefit from the full $0.023/kWh support, before being reduced over the phase-out period.

The second quarter saw 3GW in new construction announcements, an increase of 23% over the first quarter. Kansas led in capacity of announcements, followed by Iowa and North Dakota.

The US has an installed wind power capacity of 74.8GW, AWEA said.