Feb 9 Wind energy has surpassed hydropower as
the biggest source of renewable electricity in the United States
following the sector's second-biggest quarter ever for new
installations, a wind industry trade group said on Thursday.
Wind installations totaled 82,183 megawatts at the end of
2016, enough to power 24 million homes, the American Wind Energy
Association said in its fourth-quarter market report.
By comparison, U.S. hydroelectric capacity stands at about
80,000 megawatts, according to the federal Energy Information
Wind installations soared to 6,478 MW in the fourth quarter,
accounting for nearly 80 percent of all of last year's wind
installations. The fourth quarter was the industry's largest for
installed capacity since the fourth quarter of 2012.
The 8,303 MW added for the year represented more than $13.8
billion in investment.
Just three turbine makers - General Electric Co,
Vestas Wind Systems A/S and Siemens AG -- accounted for
up to 95 percent of the U.S. turbine market in 2016.
Texas has more than 20 MW of installed wind capacity, or
nearly a quarter of the market. Iowa is the second-biggest wind
state, and Oklahoma overtook California for third place at the
end of 2016.
The first offshore wind project in the United States also
came online in the fourth quarter, the 30 MW Block Island wind
farm off the coast of Rhode Island.
More than 10,000 MW of wind is under construction in the
United States, about half of which is in Texas. New Mexico's
wind industry is growing rapidly, with 1,300 MW under
construction. Once completed, those projects will double the
size of New Mexico's installed wind capacity.
Corporations and others outside the utility industry have
become major purchasers of wind energy, accounting for 39
percent of capacity contracted in 2016. Projects for Google,
Amazon and General Motors were completed in the
(Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Dan Grebler)