U.S. wind industry has biggest
first-quarter installs in eight years
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[May 03, 2017]
(Reuters) - The U.S. wind industry
installed 2,000 megawatts of capacity in the first quarter, nearly four
times the amount installed in the same period last year, as developers
race to capture a lucrative federal tax credit that is gradually being
It was the industry's biggest first quarter since 2009, the American
Wind Energy Association said in its first-quarter market report released
Project construction and development activity is also robust, as the
federal production tax credit for wind projects does not expire until
2020. Starting this year, however, the credit's value will drop by 20
percent each year for projects that start construction from 2017 through
There are 9,025 MW of wind projects under construction and an additional
11,952 MW in advanced development, AWEA said.
About a quarter of the megawatts installed in the first quarter are
contracted to buyers outside the utility industry, including the U.S.
Army, Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google. Home Depot Inc and
Intuit Inc also signed contracts for new wind projects for the first
time in the first quarter.
Just a handful of companies represent nearly all the utility wind
capacity additions since the beginning of 2016. They include Xcel Energy
Inc, Berkshire Hathaway Inc's MidAmerican Energy, Alliant Energy Corp
and DTE Energy Co.
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Wind turbines stand above the plains north of Amarillo, Texas, U.S.,
March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Texas, the country's top state for wind power capacity, was the top
location for wind installations in the first quarter, followed by
Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Michigan.
(Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by James Dalgleish)
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