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US wind power capacity now exceeds 100 gigawatts, a new report states



Wind turbines near Palm Springs, California.

Christopher Groenhout | Lonely Planet Pictures | Getty Images

The United States now has more than 100 gigawatts (GW) of wind power, says a new report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) on Thursday.

According to AWEA's "US Wind Industry Third Quarter 2019 Market Report", 1,927 megawatts – just under 2 GW – of wind power capacity were put into operation in the third quarter of 201

9, the highest third quarter on record for installations. These installations pushed the total capacity over the 100 GW land mark, according to AWEA's report.

At the state level, Texas leads the way with more than 27 GW of cumulative capacity, according to the AWEA report. Capacity refers to the maximum amount of installations can produce, not what they currently produce.

"Wind now delivers clean and efficient power to the equivalent of 32 million US homes, maintains 500 US factories and delivers more than $ 1 billion a year of new revenue to rural communities and states," AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan said in a statement .

While the onshore wind market has undergone significant development in recent years, it is still an offshore sector.

The country's first offshore wind farm, the five turbine, 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm off Rhode Island, first started commercial operations in late 2016. By comparison, Europe is home to over 18,400 MW of installed offshore wind capacity, according to industry agency WindEurope.

Globally, the offshore industry is ready for expansion in the coming years. Last week, the International Energy Agency said that offshore wind appeared to be a billion-dollar business by 2040, with global capacity set at a 15-fold increase.

In 2018, facilities in the United States produced 4171 billion kilowatt hours of power, according to the US Energy Information Administration, with about 64% of this generation coming from fossil fuels. Wind produced 273 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, or 6.5% of the total.


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