U.S. wind energy reaches 62.3 GW

The United States now generates 62.3 gigawatts of wind power, according to the American Wind Energy Association, which released its third quarter results this month.

New installations resulted in 419 megawatts coming online during the third quarter, which increased the total amount of completed wind energy to 1,254 MW this year.

The reasons behind the increase from the second to third quarters are low costs and high demand from power purchases, the AWEA reported. Businesses in the wind industry were very busy during the third quarter, finishing a record number of wind energy projects. Nineteen wind energy facilities have been finished in the U.S. as of the end of the quarter, and the AWEA not only expects the industry to finish strong this year, it anticipates an even greater number of wind projects in 2015.

“The American wind industry responded to the extension of the Production Tax Credit in 2013 by setting new records for the number of new wind farms under construction and reaching the lowest wind energy costs ever seen,” AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan said in a statement.

“We believe Congress will do what it takes so we can keep these U.S. factories open and offer this increasingly affordable source of electricity to more Americans, instead of seeing the 92 percent dropoff we saw in 2013 when the tax credit was last allowed to expire,” said Kiernan.

Extensions of the renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and alternative Investment Tax Credit are part of the EXPIRE Act, a bill that extends nearly 60 tax provisions now pending in the U.S. Senate. The PTC provides a lower tax rate to U.S. wind developers for the first 10 years of their projects.