Houston — With the continued help of the production tax credit, developers in the USinstalled 7,017 MW of new wind capacity in 2017, bringing the country's totalto 89,077 MW, the American Wind Energy Association reported Tuesday.
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"New wind power capacity in 2017 represented $11 billion in privateinvestment," said Amy Farrell, AWEA's senior vice president of government andpublic affairs.
The 2015 production tax credit, or PTC, phaseout that was reaffirmed in the2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, has "created policy stability that the windindustry is now putting to work by scaling up investments," Farrell said. "As we complete the orderly PTC phaseout we are seeing continued innovationand cost reduction -- with a 66% reduction in wind costs since 2009 andfurther innovation and savings expected."
In its fourth quarter and 2017 market report, AWEA said there was 2,136MW of existing wind capacity that underwent what it called "partialrepowerings" in 2017. The author of the report, AWEA senior analyst HannaHunt, said she expects partial repowering "to accelerate in the nearterm."
The report said Texas and Oklahoma, which surpassed Iowa in terms of totalwind capacity installed at the end of 2017, are now considered the heartlandof wind. Texas now has 22,637 of installed wind, while Oklahoma has 7,495 MW. The30,132 MW of their combined installed wind represents 33.8% of the country'stotal. In Q4 2017, there was 4,125 MW of new wind installed across the country. Inthe quarter, Texas led with 1,179 MW installed, followed by Oklahoma with 851MW, Iowa with 334 MW, Illinois 306 MW, and Missouri 300 MW. AWEA noted that wind developers have reported 13,332 MW of wind capacitycurrently under construction and 15,336 MW in advanced development, a 34%year-on-year increase. It said that there were 5,393 MW of new projectsannounced just in Q4 alone. The report said that 4,143 MW, or 31% of the capacity now under constructionis located in Texas. It said there is 3,000 MW are under construction inWyoming, 1,366 MW in Oklahoma, 736 MW in Iowa and 702 MW under construction inNebraska. PPAS SIGNED IN 2017 UP 29%
"Demand from utilities is high," said report author Hunt.
In 2017 there were PPAs signed for 5,496 MW of capacity, a 29% year-on-yearincrease. Electric utilities signed 60%, or 3,317 MW, of the capacity contracted for in2017, with PPA's for over 1,500 MW signed in Q1. "Utilities announced plans todevelop and own 4,190 MW of rate-based capacity in 2017," the report said.
The report pointed to Xcel Energy, Berkshire Hathaway Energy and AlliantEnergy as the top three utilities with "wind capacity currently underconstruction or in advanced development."
Corporate and non-utility entities signed 40% of the PPAs signed in 2017, fora total of 2,178 MW capacity. While this annual total was "similar to the 39%share captured in 2016," the report said that in Q4 this group signed "all 710MW of PPAs announced."
AWEA noted that Google Energy signed four PPAs during the Q4 for a total of536 MW. The report said that corporate and other non-utility customers "have signedmore than 7,100 MW of PPAs to date." THREE COMPANIES COMPLETE PARTIAL REPOWERINGS For the first time AWEA included repowering data in its quarterly marketreport.
It said that in 2017 NextEra Energy Resources completed 1,591 MW of partialrepowerments, while MidAmerican Energy completed 408 MW and Leeward RenewableEnergy completed 136 MW of partial repowerments.
AWEA defined partial wind turbine repowerings as "either a nacellereplacement, meaning the replacement of all major turbine componentsother than the tower and foundation, or a major retrofit, which entails thereplacement of the rotor and blades and at least one major internal nacellecomponent."
"In total, the U.S. wind industry completed 2,136 MW of partial repoweringsacross 15 project phases during 2017," the report said.
It said that in all partial repowerings the turbine's rotor and blades werereplaced. "Rotor diameters increased by an average of [about] 13 meters, or16%, as a result of partial repowering, where data were available." It noted that all the original turbines that were repowered had been deployedbetween 2003 and 2008, with an average turbine age of 11 years. VESTAS SUPPLIED 35% OF 2017 US MARKET
There are now 54,000 wind turbines in the US that are installed onshore. Thereare just five that are offshore, Hunt noted.
Looking at turbine manufacturers, the AWEA report said that four companies --GE Renewable Energy, Nordex USA, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, and Vestas-- met 99% of the demand for turbines in 2017. Of the 7,017 MW commissioned in 2017, Vestas had a 35% market share, followedby GE with 29%, Siemens Gamesa with 23% and Nordex 11%. "Vestas led in annual market share for the second straight year, afterending GE Renewable Energy's 13-year streak in 2016," AWEA said. -- Jeffrey Ryser, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Edited by Valarie Jackson, email@example.com