More utilities buying, owning wind power


In 2012, for the first time in the U.S., wind energy was the top source for new electricity capacity at 42 percent of new capacity added, accounting for the majority of the 55 percent total of combined renewable energy installed in the U.S. Today, U.S. wind energy accounts for 6 percent of the country's electric generating capacity, according to PA International.

Much of the capacity was driven by a sense of urgency to get wind projects in the works before the Production Tax Credit deadline.

To put it in perspective, in August 2012, the U.S. had 50 GW of wind capacity installed. Today, wind capacity is more than 60 GW and enough to power 15 million homes. In 2012, more than 13.2 GW of wind turbines were installed with 5.5 GW added in December alone.

A total of 190 wind projects were installed across 32 states and Puerto Rico, representing a $25 million private investment.

"What is just as striking as the new records is the expansion of new customers. A total of 66 utilities bought or owned wind power in 2012, up from 42 in 2011," said Rob Gramlich, Interim CEO of American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). "We are also seeing growth in new customers in the industrial and commercial sectors purchasing or owning wind energy directly."

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