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The US Department of Energy (DOE) released three wind energy market reports demonstrating that as wind installations continue across the country and offshore wind projects move beyond the planning process, technology costs and wind energy prices continue to fall. The reports cover three market sectors: land-based utility scale, distributed, and offshore wind.
The 2017 Wind Technologies Market Report, prepared by DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, found the following:
  • The U.S. wind industry installed 7,017MW of capacity last year, bringing total utility-scale wind capacity to nearly 89 GW.
  • In total, 41 states operated utility-scale wind projects. Texas leads the nation with over 22GW of wind capacity, while Oklahoma, Iowa, California, and Kansas have more than 5,000MW.
  • In 2017, wind energy contributed 6.3 percent of the nation’s electricity supply, more than 10 percent of total generation in 14 states, and more than 30 percent in four of those states—Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.
  • Bigger turbines with longer blades are enhancing wind plant performance. Wind projects built in the past few years have seen capacity factors increase by 79 percent compared to projects installed from 1998 to 2001.
  • The average installed cost of wind projects in 2017 was $1,611 per kilowatt (kW), down 33 percent from the peak in 2009–2010.
  • The U.S. wind industry supported more than 105,000 jobs and saw US$ 11 billion invested in new wind plants in 2017.
The 2017 Distributed Wind Market Report, prepared by DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, highlights the following:
  • In total, U.S. wind turbines in distributed applications reached a cumulative installed capacity of 1,076 MW. This capacity comes from roughly 81,000 turbines installed across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.
  • In 2017, Iowa, Ohio, and California led the nation in new distributed wind capacity installed as a result of large-scale turbines installed by commercial and industrial facilities and electricity distribution utilities.
  • 35 percent of distributed wind projects installed in 2017 were at homes, and 25 percent were agricultural installations.
  • U.S. manufacturers of small wind turbines and their supply chain vendors are located in 27 states.
  • Between 2015 and 2017, U.S.-based small wind turbine manufacturers accounted for more than $226 million in export sales.
The 2017 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Update, prepared by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, found the following:
  • The US offshore wind industry recently took a leap forward as commercial-scale projects were competitively selected in Massachusetts (800 MW), Rhode Island (400 MW), and Connecticut (200 MW).
  • New York, New Jersey, and Maryland also have offshore wind projects in the development pipeline.
  • The US offshore wind project pipeline has reached a total of 25,464MW of capacity across 13 states.
  • About 60 percent of the U.S. offshore wind resource lies in deep waters. Developing a project in deep waters requires wind turbines on floating foundations.
  • In the U.S., floating offshore wind projects have been proposed off the coasts of Maine, California, and Hawaii.
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