U.S. Wind Growth Nears Record in 2003, but 2004 Outlook Dim

January 28, 2004

Photo of Blue Canyon wind turbines.

The Blue Canyon Wind Power Project.
Credit: Zilkha Renewable Energy

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced on January 22nd that 2003 was one of the best years ever for the U.S. wind industry, but its outlook for 2004 is considerably less optimistic. In 2003, a total of 1,687 megawatts of new wind capacity were installed in the United States, just 9 megawatts shy of the record established in 2001. There are now 6,370 megawatts of wind power installed throughout the country, and utility-scale wind turbines are spinning in 30 states. But since the wind energy production tax credit expired at the end of the year, AWEA claims that the industry is now facing layoffs, stalled projects, and a negative near-term market outlook. See the AWEA press release.

Among the wind power projects completed in December 2003 is the 74.25-megawatt Blue Canyon Wind Power Project, built near Lawton, Oklahoma, by Zilkha Renewable Energy. See the Zilkha Web site.

The latest wind industry trends are sure to be a topic of discussion at the Global WINDPOWER 2004 Conference and Exhibition, to be held in Chicago in late March. See the conference Web page.