The U.S. wind industry reported 29,634 MW of generation capacity was under construction or in advanced development at the end of the third quarter of 2017, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) U.S. Wind Industry Third Quarter (Q3) 2017 Market Report released October 26. The 29,634 MW is spread across 149 projects in 32 states.

“The high level of wind under construction and in advanced development shows we are on track to deliver 10 percent of America’s electricity by 2020, along with $85 billion in economic activity and 50,000 new jobs,” Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, said in an AWEA release.

An additional 3040 MW of planned wind capacity was announced during Q3, and 1,337 MW of power purchase agreements were signed.

“Project developers installed 534 MW during the third quarter, bringing year-to-date installations to 2,892 MW. There are now 84,944 MW of installed wind capacity in the United States,” the report says. Three companies are responsible for 98% of these installations: GE Renewable Energy, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, and Vestas.

Building on industry trends, most of the industry activity in Q3 took place in the Midwest, followed by Texas, the Mountain West states, and the Plains states.

Other interesting results of the analysis include:

  • Corporate customers represent 62% of total project capacity contracted during the third quarter (823 MW). Anheuser-Busch, Cummins, JPMorgan Chase, and Kimberly-Clark all signed U.S. wind PPAs for the first time. Non-utility customers have signed more than 6,460 MW of PPAs historically to date;
  • Virginia has a wind project in advanced development for the first time, with Dominion’s announcement to partner with DONG Energy to develop and own the two-turbine, 12 MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project. When completed, Virginia will become the 42nd state with utility-scale wind capacity;
  • Four states commissioned a total of five projects (534 MW) during the third quarter. Texas led with 402 MW, followed by Indiana (100 MW), New Mexico (30 MW), and California (2 MW);
  • Texas continues to lead the nation with 21,450 MW of installed capacity, more than triple the installed capacity of any other state;
  • New Mexico surpassed Pennsylvania in state rankings during the third quarter, moving to 16th place;
  • Given construction activity, Oklahoma is on pace to overtake Iowa to become the second-ranked state in installed capacity by the end of 2017; and
  • Illinois led the nation with 212 MW in new construction activity, followed by Oregon (202 MW) and Texas (148 MW).

“Wind power’s value to investors, utilities and corporate purchasers is clear: fixed-cost clean energy at competitive prices,” Kiernan said.


Abby L. Harvey is a POWER reporter.