The American Wind Energy Association’s 3rd quarter market report notes Texas continued on its wind turbine construction tear, adding 693 megawatts of capacity and moving into 4th place in the world for wind capacity behind Germany, India and Spain.
| Map of Texas wind power potential (State Energy Conservation Office)
The U.S. wind energy industry installed 1,389 MW this quarter, bringing to 4,204 MW the total of wind power projects completed in what is expected to be another record year. The year-end total is expected to reach about 7,500 MW.
Texas’ total installed capacity topped 6,000 MW. The state’s grid operator (ERCOT) says in a monthly report it has received requests to connect another 53,000 megawatts of wind power projects to the grid, but those are long term projects, many of which may not be built. For example,
one 249 MW wind project was cancelled recently two projects totaling 236 MW were delayed beyond 2010, ERCOT said. State regulators have moved forward with a plan to build billions of dollars in new power lines to move power from West Texas, where most of the projects are located.
According to AWEA this year’s boom in construction is not expected to continue next year. Some 8,000 MW are already under construction for completion this year or next, but because of the late extension of the wind production tax credit (in the bank bailout bill this month) and the evolving financial crisis, new construction starts are expected to slow in 2009.
A few other highlights from the report:
• West Virginia is the state with the fastest wind power capacity growth, which more than tripled its existing capacity with the addition of a 164-MW project. Another 100 MW project is scheduled to come online in West Virginia by the end of the year.
• Utah added its first multi-turbine project, the 9-turbine Spanish Fork project.
• In the Dakotas Acciona Energy, a wind turbine manufacturer, brought its first U.S. turbines online at a 120-turbine project straddling the North Dakota/South Dakota border.
Some recent developments not in the report:
• Tuesday’s announcement that the joint venture between BP and NRG Energy completed construction of their 150-megawatt Sherbino I Wind Farm joint venture in Pecos County in West Texas.
• Britain aims to boost its wind power generation by a third next year, a government minister said on Wednesday
• Canadian governments “need an attitude adjustment” to spur new wind energy investment by 2025, according to a new report from the Canadian Wind Energy Association.
• And Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell helped open Iberdrola Renewables’ Casselman Wind Power Project which will host a study of the interaction between bats and wind turbines.