AWEA: Recovery Act Spurs U.S. Wind Power Growth in the Third Quarter

October 21, 2009

The U.S. wind power industry installed 1,649 megawatts (MW) of new power generating capacity in the third quarter of 2009, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). That's more wind power than was installed in either the previous quarter of 2009 or the third quarter of 2008. The wind industry group credited the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as a "major driving factor" in the growth, placing the industry ahead of where it was a year ago in terms of annual growth. But AWEA also sees slower growth ahead, as there's nearly 40% less construction underway now than the 8,000 MW of wind power that were under construction at this time last year. This year is also lagging behind 2008 in terms of wind turbine manufacturing. As a result, the growth in U.S. wind power for 2009 as a whole is expected to fall short of last year, when a record 8,358 MW was installed. So far this year, 5,800 MW of wind power has been built, bringing the country's total wind power capacity to 31,109 MW.

Arizona showed the fastest growth among states in the third quarter, due to the inauguration of its first large-scale wind farm, the 64-MW Dry Lake Wind Power Project. Texas was tops in the amount of wind power added during the third quarter, with 436 MW of new wind energy capacity. The Lone Star state also remained the number one wind state in the country, with a total of 8,797 MW of capacity. Texas also features the largest wind power projects completed this quarter: the 199.5-MW Panther Creek III wind farm and the 197-MW Inadale wind farm, also known as Roscoe IV, both of which were developed by E.ON Climate & Renewables. Combining Roscoe IV with the previous three phases of the project, the Roscoe Wind Farm now has a capacity of 781.5 MW, making it the world's largest wind power facility. See the AWEA press release and report (PDF 676 KB), as well as the E.ON press release. Download Adobe Reader.