The U.S. wind energy industry installed 1,210 MW of new power-generating capacity in the second quarter, bringing the total added this year to just over 4,000 MW, an amount larger than the 2,900 MW added in the first six months of 2008, according to the American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) second-quarter market report.
While the number of completed wind farm installations was solid, AWEA says it is seeing a reduced number of orders and a lower level of activity in manufacturing of wind turbines and their components – a development it termed troubling in view of the fact that the U.S. wind industry was previously on track for much larger growth and the global wind power industry is continuing to expand.
New wind installations in 10 states nudge total U.S. wind power generating capacity to 29,440 MW, according to the report. The state posting the fastest growth in the second quarter was Missouri, where wind power installations expanded by 90%.
‘Missourians know that in order for us to grow our state's economy and create the jobs of the 21st century, we must embrace new technology and advances like the ones presented to us through renewable wind energy,’ says Gov. Jay Nixon, D-Mo. Pennsylvania and South Dakota ranked second and third in terms of growth rate in the second quarter, expanding by 28% and 21%, respectively. Iowa passed the 3,000 MW mark with a cumulative total of 3,043 MW installed and consolidated its position as No. 2, behind Texas (8,361 MW) and ahead of California (2,787 MW).
Three wind turbine and turbine component manufacturing facilities were opened, four facilities were expanding and eight facilities were announced during the past quarter. This brings the total of opened, expanding and announced facilities up to 20 since the beginning of the year.
At the same time, many existing supply-chain companies have stopped hiring or have furloughed employees due to the slowdown in contracts for wind turbines. Wind turbine component manufacturing investment was one of the bright spots in the economy in 2008, with over 55 facilities added, expanded or announced that year, according to the AWEA report.
For more information, visit awea.org.
SOURCE: American Wind Energy Association