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America’s wind power industry installed 1,100MW of new capacity in the first quarter of 2011 alone and entered the second quarter with another 5,600MW under construction, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reported.

The under-construction figure is nearly twice the megawatts that the industry reported at this time in both 2009 and 2010; moreover, two-thirds of those megawatts are already locked in under long-term power purchase agreements with electric utilities, indicating an enduring industry that has proven both nimble and strong through a range of economic and policy conditions. The total wind fleet now stands at 41,400MW. The first quarter’s 1,100MW of new capacity came online in 12 different states, with some seeing double-digit growth. U.S. states with the most capacity additions so far include: Minnesota (293MW), Washington (252MW), Illinois (240MW), Idaho (119MW), and Nebraska (81MW). Of the 5,600MW currently under construction, one third is located in Oregon, Washington and California.
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