DOE: U.S. continues to lead the world in wind power growth

From a May 29 DOE press release:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released the 2007 edition of its Annual Report on U.S. Wind Power Installation, Cost, and Performance Trends, which provides a comprehensive overview of developments in the rapidly evolving U.S. wind power market. Notably, the report finds that U.S. wind power capacity increased by 46 percent in 2007, with $9 billion invested in U.S. wind plants in 2007 alone, making the U.S. the fastest-growing wind power market in the world for the third straight year. The report also showed that wind is on a path to becoming a significant contributor to the U.S. power mix-wind projects accounted for 35 percent of all new U.S. electric generating capacity in 2007, and transmission facilities capable of generating a total of over 200 GW of wind power are in the early stages of development throughout the nation.

The report ranks New York 13th among U.S. states for incremental wind power in 2007 (55 MW); 11th for cumulative capacity (425 MW); 19th for percentage of in-state generation (0.7%); and 4th for proposed off-shore wind capacity (160 MW).

Schenectady-based GE Wind remained the most important manufacturer of wind turbines supplying the U.S. market in 2007 (2,342 MW of installed capacity — about double its 2006 figure of 1146 MW), with 44% of domestic turbine installations.

The report also noted that especially in New York (and Texas) wind project developers are tying a portion of their electricity sales revenue to short-term contracted and/or spot market prices (with the resulting price risk commonly hedged over up to a 10-year period via financial transactions rather than through power purchase agreements (PPAs). [See, e.g., details of the Noble IPO proposal discussed elsewhere in this blog.] The DOE reported that in both states wholesale spot markets exist, wind power may be able to compete with these spot prices, and additional revenue is possible from the sale of renewable energy certificates (RECs).

Press release here.

Full report here.

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