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Wind Energy Picks Up in 2006



The U.S. wind energy industry has completed the world’s largest wind farm, and expects to add over 2,700 megawatts in 2006.


The U.S. wind energy industry has completed the world’s largest wind farm, and expects to add over 2,700 megawatts in 2006.

The U.S. wind energy industry is on track to install a record 2,750 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity in 2006, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The project is expected to produce about as much electricity as is used by the entire state of Rhode Island and help strengthen energy security.

A recent project, FPL Energy’s 735-MW Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center in Texas, has broken all previous records for the country’s and world’s largest wind farm.

One megawatt of wind power produces enough electricity on a typical day to serve the equivalent of 250-300 homes, according to AWEA.

A total of 1,345 MW has been already completed this year, according to AWEA’s quarterly report, bringing total installed wind energy capacity in the U.S. to 10,492 MW, or enough to serve over 2.5 million homes. Construction is also proceeding on an additional 1,500 MW of wind farms to be completed this year.

“To strengthen our energy independence we need safe, domestic, and inexhaustible energy, and wind power provides just that,” says AWEA executive director Randall Swisher. “The U.S. wind energy industry is working all-out to meet current demand for new wind farms. But the nation needs a timely and long-term extension of the wind energy production tax credit to allow companies to plan beyond 2007 and continue to build a strong and secure energy future,” added Swisher.

The federal production tax credit, which was extended for two years in the Energy Policy Act, will expire in December 2007.

Wind power is expected in 2006 to provide 18 percent to 20 percent of the new capacity installed in the country, making it the second-largest source of new power generation after new natural gas plants, according to the Energy Information Administration.

For 2007, AWEA currently estimates that installations will exceed those of 2006 and range from 3,000 MW to 3,500 MW.

A state-by-state listing of existing and proposed wind energy projects is available on AWEA's Web site.




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  posted on 10/26/2006   Article Use Policy




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