Wind Energy Report Reflects Growth

Wind energy leaders in several categories maintained their No. 1 positions even as other leaders emerged in new categories, while 24 states saw new wind turbine and component manufacturing facilities opened, expanded or announced in 2008, according to the annual wind energy industry rankings report released today by the American Wind Energy Association.
The new listings, based on 2008 year-end numbers, show Texas leading in wind capacity and largest wind farms installed, Minnesota and Iowa both generating over 7 percent of their electricity from wind, and Indiana as the state with the fastest growth in wind on a percentage basis.
In company rankings, NextEra Energy Resources, formerly FPL Energy, continues to lead in wind farm ownership; GE Energy remained the wind turbine maker with the largest amount of new capacity installed, and Xcel Energy again leads investor-owned utilities in wind power. Wind power’s recent growth has also accelerated investment in manufacturing: wind turbine and turbine component manufacturers announced, added or expanded more than 55 facilities in 2008 alone, spanning 24 states from Alabama to Wisconsin.
“The wind energy industry today generates not only clean energy for our economy, but also hope and opportunity for American workers and businesses,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. “Whether it is building or maintaining a wind project, or producing wind turbine components, you’ll find people employed in wind power in nearly all 50 states today,” Bode said.
“But we cannot rest on past achievements. We need the right policies in place for our industry to maintain its momentum. A national Renewable Electricity Standard, requiring utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025, is vital to provide the long-term, U.S.-wide commitment businesses need to invest tens of billions of dollars in clean energy installations and manufacturing facilities, and create hundreds of thousands of American jobs,” Bode said.
Highlights from AWEA’s new report include:
— Iowa, with 2,791 MW installed, surpassed California (2,517 MW) for the No. 2 position in wind power generating capacity.
— The top five states in terms of capacity installed are:
– Texas, with 7,118 MW
– Iowa, with 2,791 MW
– California, with 2,517 MW
– Minnesota , with 1,754 MW
– Washington, with 1,447 MW
— Oregon moved into the 1,000-MW club, which now counts seven states, including Texas, Iowa, California, Minnesota, Washington and Colorado.
— Indiana ranked as the state with the fastest growth rate, expanding installations from zero to 131 MW, followed by Michigan (48%), Utah (21%), New Hampshire (17%) and Wisconsin (6%).
— Two states – Minnesota and Iowa – now get over 7 percent of their power needs from wind. Minnesota ranks first in this list (7.48%), followed closely by Iowa (7.1%). The rest of the top five are Colorado, North Dakota, and New Mexico.
— 10 new manufacturing facilities came online, 17 were expanded, and 30 were announced in 2008, according to AWEA estimates. These investments and announcements span 24 states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, Tennessee, Wisconsin, South Carolina, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Illinois, Alabama, Ohio, Indiana, Montana, Texas, Minnesota, Idaho, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Massachusetts.

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