ACP: Wind Power Represents Nearly 40 Percent of Clean Energy Pipeline


The American Clean Power Association’s (ACP) Clean Power Quarterly 2021 Q3 Market Report shows the U.S. clean energy industry installed 3,336 MW of new capacity during the third quarter, with additions totaling 15,317 MW in the first three quarters – a 23% increase compared to 2020.

Solar represents the largest share of capacity in the clean power pipeline, accounting for 54%, followed by land-based wind at 23%, offshore wind at 13%, and battery storage at 9%.

Demand for clean power continues to rise, with power purchasers and project developers announcing 9,054 MW of new power purchase agreements (PPAs) in the third quarter. Overall, a total of 17,442 MW of PPAs have been announced in 2021, representing a 16% increase compared to the same period in 2020.

“Clean power is affordable, and the market is responding,” says Heather Zichal, ACP’s CEO. “Our report shows customer demand remains high and growing for clean power. Our industry not only provides good-paying jobs but also is a key part of solving the climate crisis. We are seeing a clean energy future develop here in the United States. Multiple technologies working together promise to provide more efficient, cleaner and more reliable energy for all Americans.”

Project owners commissioned a total of 49 new projects across 20 states during the quarter, including seven new wind projects, 34 utility-scale solar projects and eight energy storage projects – enough to power 740,000 American homes.

These new clean energy projects represent $23 billion in clean energy infrastructure investment.

Moreover, more than 415,000 Americans already work in clean energy across all 50 states, and that number is set to grow substantially over the next decade.

Corporate customers have announced over 37,000 MW of clean power PPAs in total after signing up another 1,761 MW of clean power PPAs during the quarter.

The top five corporate buyers of clean power in the quarter include Amazon (509 MW), Facebook (450 MW), Microsoft (430MW), Mitsui & Co. (159 MW) and Dupont (135 MW).

The top five states for third-quarter additions include Texas (1,679 MW), California (389 MW), Wyoming (301 MW), Oklahoma (287 MW) and Alabama (227MW).

Texas also has the largest clean power pipeline, hosting 17% of projects under construction or in advanced development, followed by offshore wind projects in federal waters at 13%, California at 11%, Indiana at 5%, New Mexico at 4% and New York at 3%.

The number of clean power projects under construction and under development continues to grow significantly. At the end of September, the near-term development pipeline consisted of over 900 projects totaling 109,596 MW of capacity, including 38,122 MW under construction and 71,474 MW in advanced development. This is 28% higher than the first quarter of 2021 and 7% higher than the second quarter.

There is now 186,674 MW of operating clean power capacity in the United States, enough to power the equivalent of 52 million American homes.

Read the report here.

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Ned Ford
Ned Ford
1 year ago

As a matter of promoting wind, I think you should remark that a smaller number of MW’s installed (comparing to solar) will produce a larger number of MWh’s due to the higher capacity factor. It’s exciting to see the U.S. getting into the offshore wind and solar arena.

Solar commands much more enthusiasm, but efficiency and wind are still keeping more carbon in the ground. Maybe that will change, but give credit where it is due.