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

November 09, 2005

U.S. Wind Power Grows at Record Pace in 2005

The U.S. wind power industry will set new growth records this year, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The trade group's latest projections, released on November 3rd, anticipate the installation of 2,500 megawatts of new wind power capacity this year, a record growth of more than 35 percent. AWEA's list of wind projects to be completed this year includes projects in 25 states. According to AWEA, the total U.S. wind power capacity will exceed 9,200 megawatts by the end of this year and should displace more than a half billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2006, or about 5 percent of the natural gas used for power production. See the AWEA press release and the full list of projects (PDF 22 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

Photo of a wind turbine with a huge tower that flares at the bottom towering over a nearby tree.

The Oregon project may use wind turbines nearly as large as this 3.6-megawatt turbine.
Credit: GE Energy

Since the production tax credit for wind power projects does not expire until the end of 2007, wind power growth is expected to stay strong for at least the next two years, according to AWEA. That future growth is already evident, as PPM Energy just started building the 200-megawatt Big Horn Wind Project in northeast Klickitat County in Washington, with plans to complete it by next summer. In addition, Orion Energy LLC has submitted an application to the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council to build the 450-megawatt Biglow Canyon Wind Farm in north-central Oregon, near the Washington border, about 50 miles southwest of the Big Horn project. The company plans to begin construction in early 2007. See the PPM Energy press release and the Biglow Canyon application announcement and related documents on the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Web site.