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November 14, 2007

AWEA Boosts Wind Power Projections to 4,000 MW for 2007

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced on November 7th that it now expects 4,000 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity to be installed in 2007. That represents an increase of one-third over AWEA's previous projections for the year, which were last updated in August. AWEA's third quarter market report concludes that the wind industry added more than 2,300 MW of wind power in the first three quarters of 2007, while more than 5,000 MW of wind power are currently under construction. According to AWEA's tally, 13,885 MW of wind power capacity are now installed in the United States.

Photo of a crane positioning a wind rotor (three wind blade mounted on a hub) onto its nacelle (the box that holds the generator and other components), which is mounted on a tall tubular tower. On the ground below are several trucks and people that appear miniscule by comparison.

Shown here during its construction, Missouri's first utility-scale wind facility was dedicated in late September. See a larger version of this photo.
Credit: Wind Capital Group

In the third quarter alone, 1,251 MW of wind power were installed throughout the country, including 600 MW in Texas, further cementing that state's leadership in wind power capacity. Another 264 MW of wind power were built in Colorado, elevating that state to sixth place in terms of installed wind power capacity. In Washington State, 140 MW of wind power were installed, pushing that state into fourth place, while the first utility-scale wind power facility was completed in Missouri. Built near King City, Missouri, by the Wind Capital Group and John Deere Wind Energy, the 56.7-MW Blue Grass Ridge Wind Farm features 2.1-MW wind turbines from Suzlon Wind Energy Corporation and was dedicated in late September. The Wind Capital Group is also building two other wind facilities in Missouri that will have a combined capacity of 100.4 MW. See the AWEA press release, AWEA's third quarter market report (PDF 1.5 MB), the Wind Capital Group Web site, and the press release on the Missouri wind farm dedication from the Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. Download Adobe Reader.

The boom in U.S. wind power capacity is being met with increased investment in wind power manufacturing facilities in the heart of the country. In late September, Siemens Power Generation celebrated the grand opening of its new wind turbine blade factory in Fort Madison, Iowa, on the banks of the Mississippi River. The 311,000-square-foot factory is expected to produce 600 wind turbine blades each year and should employ 260 people by year's end. The facility manufactures 148-foot-long, 12-ton blades for the company's 2.3-MW wind turbines installed in the United States. In October, Iowa Governor Chet Culver announced that Hendricks Industries plans to build a manufacturing plant for wind turbine towers in Keokuk, which is also on the Mississippi River. The 347,000-square-foot facility will employ 350 people, and the company will also employ 22 people at a project to expand the city's port. Also in October, LM Glasfiber broke ground on a new wind turbine blade manufacturing plant in Little Rock, Arkansas, which is on the Arkansas River. The new facility is expected to begin operations in early 2008 and will eventually employ more than 1,000 people. See the press releases from Siemens, Governor Culver, and LM Glasfiber.

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