This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
U.S. Wind Industry Expects Little Growth in 2004
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the U.S. wind industry's trade association, projects new wind energy installations to total less than 500 megawatts this year, a precipitous drop from the 1,687 megawatts of wind generating capacity installed in 2003. AWEA blames the slowdown on the current lack of a production tax credit for wind power. The tax credit expired at the end of last year, although an extension of the credit is currently working its way through Congress. See the AWEA press release.
Despite the slowdown, many companies are still planning future wind projects. The largest is the 400-megawatt Kingman Project in Arizona, to be located about 40 miles southeast of the Hoover Dam. Western Wind Energy Corporation is starting engineering, feasibility studies, and environmental assessment for the project, which will be built in several stages. In California, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is preparing a draft Environmental Impact Report for its 120-megawatt Pine Tree Wind project, first proposed in February of last year. In Texas, The Keith Companies, Inc., an engineering and consulting firm, is developing a 91.5-megawatt addition to the 37-megawatt Sweetwater Wind Power project. In New Mexico, the State Land Office has signed a lease for an 80-megawatt wind project, to be located southeast of Tucumcari in Quay County. And in Nebraska, the Board of Directors for the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) gave approval for the utility to pursue a 60-megawatt wind project. The board approved a 30-megawatt project in December 2003, but since then the utility has secured interest from other utilities in the larger project. See the press releases from Western Wind Energy (PDF 122 KB), LADWP, The Keith Companies, the New Mexico State Land Office (PDF 60 KB), and NPPD. Download Acrobat Reader.
Finally, two wind power projects that were completed late last year were dedicated only recently: the 160-megawatt Green Mountain Energy Wind Farm in Brazos, Texas, and the 162-megawatt Colorado Green wind facility near Lamar, Colorado. The latter wind project led Colorado Governor Bill Owens to declare May 14th as "Colorado Wind Energy Day." See the press releases from Green Mountain Energy Company and Governor Owens (PDF 38 KB), as well as the governor's wind energy proclamation.