U.S. installs 5.9 GW in fourth quarter of 2018

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The U.S. wind sector installed 5.9 GW of new capacity in the fourth quarter of 2018 to bring the total for the year to 7.6 GW, an 8 percent increase on 2017, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said in a report published January 30.

Wind operators completed 909 MW of partial repowering projects in the fourth quarter for an annual repowering total of 1.3 GW, AWEA figures showed.

The U.S. is forecast to install 10.9 GW wind capacity in 2019 — the highest level since 2012 — as developers race to meet production tax credit (PTC) deadlines, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook published in January. The wind installation forecast represents a 3-GW increase on the 2019 projection set out in EIA’s 2018 Annual Energy Outlook.

About 16.5 GW of wind projects were under construction at the end of 2018, with a further 18.6 GW in advanced development. (Courtesy: New Energy Update)

More than half of the new wind capacity additions will be in Texas, Iowa, or Illinois, and most of the capacity will come online toward the end of the year, EIA said.

About 16.5 GW of wind projects were under construction at the end of 2018, with a further 18.6 GW in advanced development, AWEA said in its report. The combined total of 35.1 GW was up 22 percent year-on-year. About 20 percent of this activity was in Texas while other prominent states included Wyoming, Iowa, South Dakota, and New Mexico, AWEA said.

GE Renewable Energy reclaimed the top spot for turbine manufacturers in 2018, installing 40 percent of U.S. wind turbines by capacity. Vestas installed 38 percent of capacity while Nordics USA held 11 percent of the market and Siemens Gamesa held 8 percent.

Most of the turbines installed were of capacity between 2 MW and 3 MW while 24 percent were more than 3 MW, AWEA said.

In October, GE unveiled a new 5.3 MW turbine that incorporates 77-meter blades and hub heights of up to 160 meters.

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