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U.S. Experiences Fastest Wind Growth First Quarter Since 2009

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By Editors of Power Engineering

In the first quarter of 2017, more wind turbines were installed in the United States than in any other first quarter since 2009.

Wind companies installed 908 utility-scale turbines with a combined 2,000 MW of capacity, the American Wind Energy Association reported.

“We switched on more megawatts in the first quarter than in the first three quarters of last year combined,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA.

The association said that while turbine installations spanned the United States, Texas had the most installations at 724 MW, bringing its total capacity to 21,000 MW. Kansas had the second-most first-quarter installations at 481 MW.

North Carolina became the 41st state to host an operational wind farm with the activation of Amazon Wind Farm US East. That facility is also the first wind farm to come online in the southeast in 12 years.

Companies now have 4,466 MW of wind facilities either under construction or in advanced development, with a near-term pipeline of 20,977 MW.

Developers signed power purchase agreements totaling 1,781 MW in the first quarter, the most since 2013. Home Depot and Intuit, maker of TurboTax, were among the large companies purchasing wind power for the first time.