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The U.S. wind industry installed nearly 2,000MW of new wind power capacity in the third quarter of 2020, bringing total American capacity to nearly 112,000MW, according to the newly released Wind Powers America Third Quarter 2020 Market Report.
Ten new wind projects totalling 1,934MW started operations across nine states during the third quarter. Texas led the country with 687MW of new wind projects installed, followed by Colorado (496MW), Illinois (200MW), Iowa (168MW), and Indiana (147MW).
Wind power development and construction activity remained strong during the third quarter. Despite disruptions from COVID-19, project developers announced 2,420MW in combined new development activity, with projects totaling 972MW starting construction and an additional 1,448MW entering advanced development.  At the end of September, there were 43,575MW of wind power capacity in the near-term pipeline, including 24,355MW under construction and 19,220MW 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.
AWEA also released an addendum to its Wind Powers America Annual Report 2019, including an updated market outlook and new data on wind power’s price and financing. American wind power is set to continue strong growth over the next decade, with forecasters estimating nearly 60GW of new wind power installations over the next five years and 94GW over the next ten years. Offshore wind is expected to set sail in the coming years, with forecasters anticipating at least 20GW of operational offshore wind power by 2029.
Wind energy costs continue to fall, with project costs declining 16 percent over just the past five years. The average installed cost of a wind project in 2019 was $1,436/kW and wind turbines last year priced from $700-$900/kW, a 50 percent decline from 2008. These falling costs have contributed to wind power purchase agreements pricing at roughly $20/MWh.
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