This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 21, 2003

U.S. Wind Industry to Grow 25 Percent in 2003

The installed capacity of wind generators in the United States is expected to grow by about 25 percent in 2003, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The industry group expects from 1,100 to 1,400 megawatts of new wind turbines to be installed this year, a lower number than the 1,500 to 1,800 megawatts projected by the association back in January. AWEA says financing difficulties that are plaguing the entire electrical generating market are also creating roadblocks for some wind energy projects. See the AWEA press release.

Despite the difficulties in the power market, the wind turbine industry appears to be booming as turbine manufacturers increasingly concentrate on larger turbines while racking up new orders. In fact, GE Wind Energy announced on Monday that it has received more than $2 billion in orders and commitments since it entered the wind industry in May 2002. Between now and 2005, the company has commitments for 3,000 megawatts of new wind turbines, with half in the United States and the remainder in Europe and Asia. The company has also introduced a new series of turbines exceeding 2 megawatts in capacity, and unveiled on May 18th a new system that allows turbines to stay connected to the grid during low-voltage events. Meanwhile, NEG Micon North America, another leading wind turbine supplier, announced on May 19th that it will supply 45 of its 1.65-megawatt wind turbines for the Blue Canyon Wind Farm, under development by Zilkha Renewable Energy in southwest Oklahoma. See the GE Wind Energy press releases and the NEG Micon press release.