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US wind capacity buildout pushes Q1 wholesale power sales 18% higher on year

Highlights

9 GW of wind added in 2019, total now tops 107 GW

NextEra Energy Resources has 14 net GW of wind

Houston — Over 100 companies reported selling 72.6 million MWh of wholesale wind power in the US in the first quarter of 2020, an 18% jump compared with Q1 2019, according to data filed with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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The year-over-year increase is largely due to the significant buildout of the wind fleet in 2019. Just over 9 GW of additional capacity was installed in 2019, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Total wind installations in the US have now surpassed 107 GW.

The leading seller of wholesale wind power in Q1 was NextEra Energy Resources, which owns and operates about 14 net GW of wind capacity.

According to the data, the Juno, Florida-based subsidiary of NextEra Energy sold 13.8 million MWh of wholesale wind power in Q1, up 19.7% compared with Q1 2019.

NextEra Energy Resources' wind portfolio entails 123 facilities, with some of the country's largest wind farms among them in states such as North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.

The company had a 19% share of the wholesale wind power sales market in Q1.

Rounding out the top five sellers in Q1 were Avangrid Renewables with a market share of 7.2%, Green Power North America with a market share of 6.7%, EDP Renewables North America with 5.8% and EDF Renewables with 4.2%.

Each of the four are US renewable subsidiaries of Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French utilities, respectively.

Ranked sixth in Q1 was RWE Renewables Americas, a subsidiary of the German utility that assumed control of E.ON Climate and Renewables, which was a subsidiary of German utility E.ON.

RWE Renewables sold 2.9 million MWh of wholesale wind power in Q1, giving it a 4.1% market share.

One of the companies with the biggest year-on-year jump in Q1 wholesale power sales was Engie North America. Its sales increased 753.6% to more than 569,500 MWh due in large part to the 275-MW Solomon Forks facility in Kansas coming online in the third quarter of 2019.

American Electric Power's AEP Renewables unit brought online the 302-MW Santa Rita East facility in Q3 2019, which accounts for at least some of company's 508% year-on-year sales increase.

Texas wind facilities dominate

Among the top 20 wind facilities in terms of wholesale power sold, 12 are located in Texas, two each in Oklahoma and Nebraska, and one each in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and New Mexico.

Combined, the top 20 facilities were responsible in Q1 for selling 7.2 million MWh of wholesale wind power out of the 72.6 million MWh total.

The top two facilities are located in Texas — the Horse Hollow and the Capricorn Ridge facilities.

The first phase at Horse Hollow was built in 2005, with phases two and three completed the following year. The initial capacity of the combined facilities was 736 MW. NextEra Energy Resources lists the three phases of Horse Hollow in its wind portfolio as having combined gross and net capacity of 637.5 MW of capacity.

In Q1, Horse Hollow Wind, located just south of Abilene, Texas, reported total sales of 664,707 MWh, an increase of 3.2% compared with Q1 2019.

Capricorn Ridge and its "expansion," located near Sterling City, Texas, southwest of Abilene, were initially listed as having 663 MW of capacity. The facilities are owned by NextEra Energy Resources, which today lists them as having combined capacity of 667.5 MW.

According to the quarterly data, Capricorn Ridge Wind sold 581,100 MWh of wholesale wind power in Q1, which was down 0.2% compared with its sales in Q1 2019.

Among all wind facilities in the US, wholesale wind sales in Q1 increased 18% compared with Q1 2019. Among the top 20 facilities, the volume of wholesale wind sales increased year over year by 51.4%.

Joining the ranks of the top 20 facilities by sales volume are five large facilities that have come online since Q1 2019, helping to push sales higher.

Those five facilities, which have an average capacity of 342 MW, are all located in Texas.

TOP WIND FACILITIES BY MWh VOLUME Q1 2020 vs Q1 2019
SELLER COMPANY
ST
2020 Q1
2019 Q1
% CHANGE FROM Q1 2019
CAPACITY MW
HORSE HOLLOW WIND
TX
664,707
644,096
3.2%
736
CAPRICORN RIDGE WIND
TX
581,100
582,107
-0.2%
663
FLAT RIDGE 2 WIND ENERGY
KS
479,236
451,008
6.3%
470
HIGH LONESOME WIND POWER (1)
TX
458,000
NA
NA
450
GRANDE PRAIRIE WIND
NE
419,709
343,233
22.3%
400
STEPHENS RANCH WIND ENERGY
TX
377,154
367,837
2.5%
376
RED DIRT WIND PROJECT
OK
358,191
162,340
120.6%
299
EL CABO WIND
NM
357,494
316,793
12.8%
298
TAHOKA WIND
TX
338,545
317,454
6.6%
300
SANTA RITA WIND ENERGY
TX
334,094
339,129
-1.5%
300
FOARD CITY WIND (1)
TX
332,754
NA
NA
353
BETHEL WIND FARM
TX
329,724
325,471
1.3%
276
SANTA RITA EAST WIND ENERGY (1)
TX
328,003
NA
NA
302
ENEL GREEN POWER RATTLESNAKE CREEK WIND PROJECT
NE
319,458
182,561
75.0%
318
KARANKAWA WIND (1)
TX
315,067
NA
NA
308
RADFORD'S RUN WIND FARM
IL
310,327
329,012
-5.7%
306
KINGFISHER WIND
OK
306,497
248,573
23.3%
298
TORRECILLAS WIND ENERGY
TX
305,361
58,363
423.2%
301
RANCHERO WIND FARM ENERGY (1)
TX
304,683
NA
NA
300
ROCK CREEK WIND PROJECT
MO
301,261
299,022
0.7%
300
Total top 20 facilities
7,521,365
4,966,999
51.4%
Total all facilities
72,622,014
61,568,033
18.0%
(1) Facility not operational in Q1 2019.
Source: Government filings compiled by S&P Global Platts