The United States installed 1.08GW of wind capacity in 2013, the smallest amount in a decade, while project construction activity reached a record 12.3GW in the fourth quarter, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s Market Report.
AWEA attributed the 92% year-on-year decline in installations on the late extensions early last year by Congress of the renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit for wind.
Fourth quarter 2013 installations totaled 1.01GW, roughly one-eighth the record 8.38GW in the same period a year earlier. New capacity came into service in California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and Texas.
General Electric supplied 940MW of the industry’s new 2013 capacity with Siemens in second place with 87.3MW. Vestas supplied 4MW.
AWEA reports that construction began in the fourth quarter last year on 10.9GW of new capacity nationwide – 90-plus projects that it estimates will provide electricity for 3.5 million homes.
Most projects that will qualify for the 2013 PTC will get constructed in 2014 and 2015, aided by a provision that allows work of “significant nature” and 5% of the project’s cost to have been incurred by the end of last year. Thereafter, a project must demonstrate “continuous construction.”
“These results show the Production Tax Credit continues to be an effective and efficient policy, driving billions of dollars in private investment into our economy, fostering a new US manufacturing sector, and creating economic benefits for communities across America,” says AWEA chief executive Tom Kiernan.
AWEA says that projects are now underway in at least 20 states. There are more than 7GW under construction in Texas alone, more than any state has installed. Texas is undergoing a boom in wind build-out in response to a robust state economy and completion last year of a major grid expansion that opened some of the best US onshore wind resource.
Other states with major wind construction activity are Iowa with 1.05GW, Kansas, 722MW; North Dakota, 632MW; Michigan, 342MW; and New Mexico, 317MW.
AWEA reports that at least 60 power purchase agreements (PPAs) have been signed or announced totaling nearly 8GW. These projects are spread across 18 states.
The cost of wind energy has fallen by 43% during the past four years due partly to investments in technology, AWEA says.
There is now 61.1GW of installed wind capacity in the US, second behind China worldwide.