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

February 01, 2006

U.S. Wind Industry Marks 2005 as its Most Productive Year Ever

The U.S. wind energy industry grew at a record-breaking pace in 2005, installing 2,431 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity in 22 states, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The rapid growth increased the total U.S. wind power capacity to 9,149 MW, a 35 percent increase. Commercial wind turbines are now installed in 30 states, producing enough electricity annually to equal the power used by 2.3 million U.S. households. Wind power developers invested more than $3 billion in new wind turbines in 2005, and are expected to invest even more next year: AWEA predicts that 2006 will be an even bigger year for the industry, with the installation of 3,000 MW of new wind power capacity. Texas now rivals California as the state with the most installed wind power, while FPL Energy remains the nation's largest wind power developer, and GE Energy supplied most of the new wind turbine capacity. See the AWEA press release.

A number of significant wind power projects were completed in 2005, including the 50-MW Kumeyaay Wind Power Project, the first large wind power project on tribal lands. Located on the Campo Indian Reservation east of San Diego, California, the project was financed by GE Energy Financial Services. Other major projects include: the 185-MW Century Wind Project in Iowa; the 150-MW Elk River Wind Farm, the largest in Kansas; the 135-MW Judith Gap wind project, the largest in Montana; the 59.4-MW Ainsworth Wind Energy Facility, the largest in Nebraska; the 7.5-MW Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm, the first in New Jersey; the 137-MW Maple Ridge Wind Farm, the largest in New York; the 151.2-MW Blue Canyon II and the 147-MW Weatherford Wind Energy Center, the two largest projects in Oklahoma; the 210-MW Horse Hollow wind energy center in Texas, this year's largest project; and the 149.4-MW Hopkins Ridge Wind Project in Washington. See the GE Web page on the Kumeyaay Wind Power Project, AWEA's list of 2005 projects (PDF 17 KB), and AWEA's updated map of all U.S. wind projects. Download Adobe Reader.