The U.S. in the first three months of 2020 added 2,617 MW of wind power capacity, a record amount for a first quarter of any year.
According to an analysis from S&P Global Market Intelligence, the U.S. now has 107,801 MW of total installed wind power capacity. That is a 75% increase from the first quarter of 2014, when the U.S. had 61,519 MW of wind power capacity.
Meanwhile, the project pipeline stands at 78,376 MW. That includes wind power projects in early development, advanced development or under construction, all scheduled to be completed by 2024.
Of that, 13,383 MW of capacity is in the construction phase. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, may cause some of those projects to be delayed or canceled. Tthe American Wind Energy Association said in April that the pandemic has put at risk up to 25 GW of planned projects. Nevertheless, wind developers have expressed confidence that the industry can ride out the economic impact of the pandemic.
Oklahoma has the largest pipeline of projects under construction of any state, with projects totaling 2,391 MW of capacity being built. The largest is Invenergy LLC's 999-MW Traverse Wind Energy Center, in Custer County, Okla., scheduled to come online in December 2021. American Electric Power Co. Inc. in May said it would invest $2 billion in wind farms in Oklahoma, including the Traverse project.
Texas closely follows, with projects totaling 2,318 MW of capacity under construction. The state's largest project under construction is FGE Power's 500.4-MW Goodnight Wind Energy farm, in Armstrong County. The projected online date of the $900.7 million project is June 2021, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.
Wyoming, where Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary PacifiCorp's $905.4 million, 503-MW TB Flats I & II Wind Project is being built, takes third with projects under construction, with 1,535 MW. Also under construction in Wyoming is a 500-MW initial phase of the giant Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project, eventually planned for 3,000 MW.
The largest wind power project completed in the first quarter was Clearway Energy Inc.'s 419-MW Mesquite Star Wind Project (Whitehorse Wind) in Fisher County, Texas. CEO Craig Cornelius said June 11 that the successful launching of the project amid the COVID-19 pandemic "demonstrates the durability of this industry even under the most difficult circumstances."
Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary MidAmerican Energy Co.'s 250-MW Palo Alto Wind Energy Project (Invenergy) was the second-largest wind farm completed in the first quarter. (Another 90-MW phase of the project is still under construction). MidAmerican Energy says it has invested $11.9 billion in wind power projects across the state.
South Dakota's 207.6-MW Prevailing Wind Park Project, which has multiple owners, was the third-largest project completed in the first quarter. South Dakota ranks 17th in the nation in installed wind power capacity, with 1,742 MW, according to AWEA.
Charlottesville, Va.-based Apex Clean Energy Inc. has the largest project pipeline of projects slated for completion by 2024 of any developer, with 10,156 MW, according to the data. Chicago-based Invenergy has a project pipeline totaling 6,969 MW of capacity, and Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy Inc. has the third-largest project pipeline with 4,556 MW. NextEra Chairman, President and CEO Jim Robo said in an April 22 earnings call that, despite the pandemic, the "market opportunity for low-cost renewables has never been greater."
The only new project announced in the first quarter was Pacific Winds subsidiary PowerWorks Inc.'s proposed 44-MW Gateway Wind Farm in Putnam County, Mo. The $88 million project is projected to come online in 2023, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.