US Q1 installations up 52% as industry races wind PTC clock

US wind installations totaled 1.695GW in the first quarter, the industry’s best performance during that period since 2009, as developers raced to complete projects before the federal production tax credit (PTC) expires on 31 December.

According to data released by the American Wind Energy Association, Installations surged 52% from 1.118GW in first quarter 2011. The US on 31 March had 48.611GW of utility-scale wind capacity installed across 38 states, second to China, led by Texas with 10.648GW.

The PTC is worth $0.022 per kWh, inflation-adjusted for a project’s first decade in operation.

"The last five years have been marked by unprecedented policy stability, and in response wind power has delivered," says AWEA chief executive Denise Bode. She adds that American wind power contributed 35% of all new electric generating capacity between 2007 and 2011, and today it employs 75,000 people.

"The choice is clear: with policy certainty, we'll grow to 100,000 jobs in just a few years,” she claims. “Without it, 37,000 jobs will disappear, particularly in U.S. wind manufacturing. It's up to Congress to act now and extend the PTC."

AWEA data shows that at least 8.916GW of wind capacity is under construction in 31 states and Puerto Rico, a US territory. Kansas has the most, 1.34GW, followed by Texas 914MW, Oklahoma 894MW, California 777MW and Illinois 705MW.