The U.S. wind industry installed 485 MW of wind capacity during the first quarter of 2014 – a 26% increase from the first quarter of 2013, according to analysis from SNL Energy.
Furthermore, SNL estimates that nearly 7.6 GW of wind capacity is now under construction. Additional capacity not included in that value likely met the 5% project cost safe harbor in order to qualify for the production tax credit (PTC) before its expiration at the end of 2013.
According to SNL, the 138 MW Alta Wind X was the largest project to come online during the quarter. The 48 turbine project, located in Kern County, Calif., is owned by ArcLight Capital Partners and Global Infrastructure Management. Notably, Southern California Edison has agreed to buy the project's output over 25 years, according to SNL.
Although the Internal Revenue Service clarified the ‘continuous efforts’ language in the most recent PTC extension, SNL notes that wind developers are still expressing uncertainty about the ‘physical work of a significant nature’ language used in the bill, and some investors are waiting for more guidance before committing additional funds to projects.