A record amount of wind energy capacity is now under construction at wind farms across America, according to second quarter results released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). AWEA’s U.S. Wind Industry Second Quarter 2018 Market Report reveals wind farms totaling 5,322MW started construction during the second quarter of 2018, bringing total construction activity to 18,987MW.
Beyond projects currently under construction, another 3,901MW of new wind power capacity entered advanced development. The entire near-term US wind farm development pipeline grew 13% over the previous quarter to a total of 37,794MW under construction or in advanced development.
The US wind industry installed 626MW this quarter, bringing year-to-date installations to 1,032MW. Those installations mean American power capacity cracked 90,000MW nationally.
Wind farm developers signed 1,524MW of PPAs during the second quarter, and the overall volume of wind capacity contracted through PPAs is up 44 percent compared to the first half of 2017. Corporate customers including AT&T, Grupo Bimbo, Walmart, and Merck & Co accounted for 56 percent of contracted capacity in the quarter, with utilities contracting the remainder. Utilities also announced plans to add 1,491MW of wind capacity under direct ownership.
In May and June, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut selected competitive bids representing 1,400MW of offshore wind capacity for development. Project developers are now working out PPA terms with utilities.