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The US wind energy industry easily broke earlier annual installed capacity records in 2005, installing nearly 2,500MW or over $3 billion worth of new generating equipment in 22 states, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

Instead of the slow year that has previously followed boom years for the industry, 2006 is expected to be even bigger, with installations topping 3,000MW. The final tally of 2,431MW boosted the cumulative US installed wind power fleet by over 35%, bringing the industry’s total generating capacity to 9,149MW. The previous record capacity figure was set in 2001 when 1,697MW of new capacity was installed. There are now commercial wind turbine installations in 30 states. Thanks to the extension by Congress of the wind energy production credit before it expired for the first time in the credit’s history, the wind industry is looking forward to several record-breaking years in a row, according to AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher.
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