U.S. Wind Energy Capacity Growth Up 31 Percent in 2011

Thursday, 12 April 2012 12:40 PM

(Corrects 2011 wind-capacity figure in fifth paragraph.)

April 12 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. wind power capacity grew 31 percent in 2011, accounting for 35 percent of all new electricity generation capacity, the American Wind Energy Association said.

Developers added turbines with a capacity to generate 6.8 gigawatts, to reach total capacity of 46.9 gigawatts, according to an annual market report released by the industry group in New York today.

“This shows what wind power is capable of: building new projects, powering local economies and creating jobs,” said AWEA Chief Executive Officer Denise Bode.

Kansas, Texas and California had the most wind power projects under construction. South Dakota led in terms of total electricity produced from wind at 22.3 percent, followed by Iowa at 18.8 percent.

The U.S. wind market started 2012 with 8.3 gigawatts of new wind projects under construction, more than 5.1 gigawatts under way at the start of 2011, the association said.

The development is being driven by the federal Production Tax Credit, or PTC, which leverages as much as $20 billion a year in private investment, Bode said. The tax credit is set to expire at the end of the year.

Nextera Energy Resources LLC led with 9.3 gigawatts, or 17.8 percent, of the US wind capacity. Iberdrola SA and EDP Renewables followed.

--Editors: Jasmina Kelemen, Jessica Resnick-Ault

To contact the reporter on this story: Ehren Goossens in New York at egoossens1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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