U.S. wind farm development activity reached a new record during the second quarter of 2019, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced in its 2Q market findings. The association reported 41,801 megawatts (MW) of U.S. wind capacity in construction or in advanced development stages, a +10% increase from last year, among other signs of industry growth.
“Our industry’s success strengthens the U.S. economy because access to affordable, clean American wind power is a competitive advantage in the eyes of business leaders,” AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan said in the press release.
2Q also saw over 200 new wind projects in 33 states, and AWEA also reported that half of U.S. states have enough projects underway to grow wind capacity by 25% or more. Overall U.S. wind capacity increased to 97,960 MW across 41 states and two territories. Businesses continue to utilize wind energy, with new companies like Hormel Foods joining repeat customers such as Target, General Mills and Wal-Mart in long-term contracts, also known as Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Maryland, Connecticut and New York saw legislature passed for offshore wind agreements, while New Jersey signed the country’s largest offshore project planned to date. And manufacturers report that more wind farms are implementing newer models of wind turbines capable of creating nearly twice the energy of an average U.S. turbine.
Signs of growth in the wind industry also provide other economic benefits, AWEA suggested in its last annual report in 2018, from the preservation of the rural and farming lifestyle to a record number of wind industry jobs numbering over 114,000.