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AWEA Reports Record 3Q for American Wind Power

Nov. 2, 2020
The U.S. wind industry added nearly 2,000 MW of wind power capacity in 3Q, bringing the country's total capacity to nearly 112,000 MW.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) recently released its Wind Powers America Third Quarter 2020 Market Report, which reveals that the U.S. wind industry installed nearly 2,000 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity in 3Q 2020. This set a record for 3Q additions and brought total American capacity to nearly 112,000 MW. Additionally, the report added an important addendum to its 2019 report, forecasting that the U.S. wind industry is on pace for a record year, with installations through 3Q up +72% over the first nine months of 2019.

“This progress during the third quarter is a tremendous testament to the more than 120,000 wind workers in the U.S. who are on the ground every day striving to bring more clean, affordable electricity to communities across America, even in the midst of a global pandemic. Challenges still remain, but the American wind industry will continue pushing to add jobs and investments to the U.S. economy as we look toward a cleaner, more reliable, and more prosperous energy future for our country,” said Tom Kiernan, AWEA CEO, in the press release.

Ten new wind projects totaling 1,934 MW started operations across nine states during the third quarter, enough to power more than 600,000 American homes. Texas led the country with 687 MW of new wind projects installed, followed by Colorado (496 MW), Illinois (200 MW), Iowa (168 MW) and Indiana (147 MW). Of particular note, the two largest single-phase wind projects in U.S. history came online during the third quarter: the 525-MW Aviator Wind project in Texas and the 496-MW Cheyenne Ridge project in Colorado. 

There are now 111,808 MW of operating wind power capacity in the United States, enough for over 34 million American homes. Twenty states have over 1,000 MW of installed capacity.  

Wind power development and construction activity remained strong during the third quarter. Despite disruptions from COVID-19, project developers announced 2,420 MW in combined new development activity, with projects totaling 972 MW starting construction and an additional 1,448 MW entering advanced development.  At the end of September, there were 43,575 MW of wind power capacity in the near-term pipeline, including 24,355 MW under construction and 19,220 MW in advanced development. Construction activity ticked down three percent from the previous quarter, primarily due to a large volume of projects reaching commercial operation during the third quarter, but remains up four percent from the same period in 2019. 

The offshore wind market continued to advance in the third quarter. Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind, slated to be the second offshore wind project in the country and the first in Federal waters, completed reliability testing in September and is expected online before the end of the year. Offshore wind makes up 47 percent of projects in advanced development, with developers planning to bring 9,100 MW online by 2026.

For more information on the AWEA's latest market report, read the original press release.