EIA: 2020 Saw More U.S. Wind Power Capacity Added than Any Other Year
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), 2020 set a record for wind power capacity installations in the U.S. In total, 14.2 gigawatts (GW) were installed, surpassing the previous record, set in 2012, of 13.2 GW.
Texas has the most the wind generation capacity of any state, with 30.2 GW, but the state with the largest share of windpower in its energy mix is Iowa, which generates 58% of its power from wind.
Industrial Info tracked $32.6 billion in U.S. wind projects that were planned to be completed in 2020. The Midwest region, which includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska and South Dakota, led in both the number (34) and value ($10.1 billion) of these projects.
Some of the largest windfarms were completed in Texas, such as the 524-megawatt (MW) Aviator Windfarm in Robert Lee, in West Texas. The facility uses 131 Vestas wind turbines. Fagen Construction (Granite Falls, Minnesota) was the contractor on the project, which kicked off in late 2019 and was completed last summer. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.
In the Midwest region, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) (Omaha, Nebraska) subsidiary MidAmerican Energy Company (Des Moines, Iowa) completed its 250-MW Palo Alto Windfarm near Emmetsburg, Iowa, in the first quarter of the year. The facility uses 109 GE turbines. M.A. Mortenson Company, a leading firm in wind construction, provided engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services. The project had an estimated total investment value of $412 million. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.
Outside of the Southwest and Midwest, the Great Lakes and Rocky Mountains market regions also were hot spots for wind completions in 2020. Examples include DTE Energy Corporation's (NYSE:DTE) (Detroit, Michigan) 385-MW Isabella Windfarm, near Weidman, Michigan, about 80 miles northwest of Grand Rapids. Construction began in late 2019, with Fagen providing EPC services, and was completed in the fourth quarter. The facility uses 136 wind turbines. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.
In the Rocky Mountains region, projects completed last year include Xcel Energy Incorporated's (NASDAQ:XEL) Cheyenne Ridge wind project, in Cheyenne Wells in eastern Colorado near the Kansas border. The 500-MW windfarm uses 229 wind turbines of between 2 MW and 2.2 MW. Construction began in 2019 and was completed last summer. M.A. Mortenson provided EPC services. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.
Wind investment in 2020 was driven in part by the planned ending of the production tax credit (PTC) for wind power construction. However, Congress extended the PTC for another year in December, which is expected to further drive construction in 2021. The EIA expects wind's share of the electric generation mix in the U.S. rise to 10% in 2021, from 8.4% in 2020.
Industrial Info is tracking more than $16 billion in active U.S. wind projects with a planned completion in 2021. These include NextEra Energy Incorporated's (NYSE:NEE) (Juno Beach, Florida) White Mesa Windfarm near Ozona in West Texas. Construction kicked off late last year, and the project is expected to be completed in fourth-quarter 2021. Blattner Energy Incorporated (Avon, Minnesota) is the contractor on the project, which will use 200 GE turbines. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.
In Echo, located in northern Oregon near the Washington border, NextEra plans to complete its 300-MW Wheatridge Windfarm, which will use 120 2.5-MW turbines to generate 300 MW. Construction is set to kick off soon, with Blattner Energy providing EPC services. The project is expected to take about a year to complete. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.