Record US construction levels

UNITED STATES: A record amount of wind power capacity is now under construction, according to figures released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

37,794MW of projects were under construction or in advanced stages of development at the end of Q2 (pic credit: AWEA)

Work at US wind sites started on 5,322MW in the second quarter of the year, raising the cumulative capacity under construction to 18,987MW — a record high.

Meanwhile, 3,901MW of projects entered "advanced stages of development", AWEA stated in its second quarter market report, raising the cumulative total to 18,807MW.

The combined 37,794MW of projects under construction or in advanced stages of development at the end of the quarter was 46% higher than a year ago and 13% more than at the end of the first three months of 2018.

Nationally, the 626MW of new capacity installed between 1 March and 30 June meant the US’s cumulative capacity surpassed 90GW for the first time.

In Q2, five projects were installed across three states: Texas (464MW), Illinois (132MW) and Nebraska (30MW).

Construction and advanced development was more geographically diverse, however, with activity spread across 33 states, according to AWEA.

The uptake of corporate power purchase agreement (PPAs) slowed between 1 April and 30 June, AWEA’s figures revealed.

However, the 1,524MW of power deals struck in Q2 followed a record 3,560MW in the first three months of the year.

Utilities also announced plans to have 1,491MW directly under their ownership.

These projects included MidAmerican’s 591MW Wind XII wind farm in Iowa and the 400MW High Prairie site in Missouri to be acquired by Ameren.

AWEA also welcomed "major steps" being made toward scaling up US offshore wind, with tenders for a combined total of 1.4GW being held in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut in the second quarter.

The latest AWEA market report follows new analysis by Make Consulting that forecasts more than 30GW of capacity being added over the next three years.

Developers taking advantage of the production tax credit (PTC) before its phase-out would drive this growth, the analysts had explained.