US adds 80% of 2016 total in Q4

UNITED STATES: Wind power is now America's fourth largest source of electricity, after natural gas, coal, and nuclear.

The final quarter of 2016 was the US's second best ever for installations, according to AWEA's new report

In 2016, wind developers added 8.2GW capacity representing more than US$13.8 billion in new investment, according to the American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) 2016 report.

Almost 80% of the total, 6.5GW, was installed in the final quarter of 2016, the second strongest quarter for US wind power installations ever after Q4 2012 (8.4GW).

"American wind power is on track to double our output over the next five years, and supply 10% of US electricity by 2020," said Tom Kiernan, AWEA 's CEO.

At the close of 2016, the American wind fleet totaled almost 82.2GW, with only China having more installed capacity. A further 18.3GW was under construction or in advanced development at the end of the year, AWEA said.

AWEA's report was released at General Motor's Arlington Assembly Plant, which will soon be 100% wind-powered.

The assembly plant purchases energy from two Texas wind farms, RES's 150MW Cactus Flats and EDPR's 250MW Los Mirasoles projects.

Non-utility purchasers, like GM, Microsoft, and the Department of Defence, represented 39% of wind purchased through long-term contracts in 2016, totaling 1.6GW, said AWEA.