United States

United States

American Clean Power Association: Policy vacuum feeds five-year low for US onshore wind

Wind installations in the US were down 37% year-on-year in 2022 with onshore commissioning at a five-year low, according to the American Clean Power Association (ACP).

Onshore wind hit a five-year low in the US - but Texas led the land-based capacity pipeline (pic credit: Getty Images)
Onshore wind hit a five-year low in the US - but Texas led the land-based capacity pipeline (pic credit: Getty Images)

Only 8.5GW of wind was installed in 2022 said the ACP - in line with prior expectations - and the year represented the lowest year for onshore wind commissioning since 2018. 

The expiry of production tax credits (PTCs) at the end of 2021 muted installations, although the policy incentive was reinstated for another 10 years when President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law in August.  

Lingering supply chain challenges and delays in approvals for synchronisation with the grid compounded the expected slowdown, according to the ACP’s Clean Power Quarterly Market Report – Q4 2022.

Policy headwinds

Despite the IRA being enacted in August, policy headwinds continued to put investments at risk and hold back the industry’s potential, said the ACP. 

The Internal Revenue Service, the US’s tax authority, has yet to issue guidance on how companies can access the tax credits contained in the IRA, so investment has remained muted. 

The IRA also included an extension to the investment tax credit, more often used by capital-intensive offshore projects, and a novel manufacturing tax credit for domestically produced clean-energy components such as blades and nacelles. 

Average installation up

The average size of project phases installed in 2022 was 363MW, up from an average of 312 MW in 2021. Cumulatively, the US now has more than 144GW of land-based wind and 42MW of offshore wind, said the report.

ACP defines a project being online as having reached commercial operation and delivering electricity to the ultimate point of delivery.

No offshore wind was commissioned in 2022, though one offshore wind project is now under construction, according to ACP definitions. 

In November, Avangrid Renewable’s 806MW Vineyard Wind project, expected online in 2023, announced that offshore cable installation had started, making it the first commercial-scale offshore wind project to begin construction in the US. This was one of the quarter’s clean-energy highlights, according to the report. 

Online, repowered, delayed

In 2022, 4.1GW of wind and storage came online while 11 onshore wind projects completed partial repowering and six completed full repowering. In the full-year, 1.8 GW of wind capacity was partially repowered and 515 MW was fully repowered.

More than 48GW of clean power projects reported delays in 2022 and had not yet come online, of which wind represented a fifth of that total. According to the report, causes of wind delays ranged from ongoing supply chain constraints to lags in grid connections.

Now read: Which wind turbine maker dominated US installations in 2022?

Development pipeline

Of the entire clean-power project development pipeline at the end of December 2022; onshore wind amounted to 15% and offshore 13%, said the report. The onshore wind pipeline consisted of nearly 100 projects with a total capacity of 20.8GW, including 10.4GW under construction and 10.4GW in advanced development. 

Overall, the onshore wind pipeline decreased by 13%, year-on-year, due to the phase-out of PTCs and the need to replenish the pipeline of viable projects following record installations in 2020 and 2021, said the ACP. 

Onshore and offshore leaders

Texas accounted for nearly a fifth of the total onshore wind pipeline with 3.7GW in development, while Wyoming and Illinois made up more than 10% each. Texas now has a total onshore wind capacity of more than 40GW. 

With numerous states setting offshore wind targets, the technology accounted for a significant portion of the clean power pipeline development in several states, noted the report. 

New York is led the US with 4.2GW in development, followed by New Jersey with 3.8GW in development. Massachusetts was in third place with 3.2GW followed by Virginia with 2.6GW.


Projects in advanced development as of the end of 2022 included 16.7GW of offshore wind and more than 10GW of onshore wind. Announcements of wind power-purchase agreements (PPAs) grew by 15% in 2022, though 2022 announcements were still lower than 2018-2020 announcements, said ACP. The price of wind PPAs increased by 27% year-on-year, compared with a 19% increase from 2020 to 2021.

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