Aerial view taken Aug. 7, 2012 of techs working on the ALSTOM ECO 100, 3MW horizontal-axis upwind turbine at NREL's National Wind Technology Center. Courtesy Dennis Schroeder/NREL.

Wind-energy generation grows, Colorado 9th

WASHINGTON, D.C. — By the end of 2017, U.S. utilities were generating 89,077 megawatts of electricity from wind turbines. Of that, 3,104 MW were generated in Colorado.

In its fourth quarter report, the American Wind Energy Association said that the industry added 7,017 MW during 2017, which is up 34 percent over what was added in 2016.

Colorado ranks ninth among the states for installed wind energy with 1,949 turbines in use. The state leaders are Texas, Oklahoma and Iowa. Colorado has one utility scale project in advanced development, the Xcel Energy 600 MW Rush Creek Wind Project.

Colorado ranks higher as a developer of wind energy technology. The state has 17 manufacturing facilities including the Vestas blade and turbine plants in Northern Colorado, according to the report. Those manufacturing facilities place the state fourth among the states in wind energy employment with between 6,000 and 7,000 jobs either directly or indirectly in the industry.

About 17 percent of the electricity consumed in the state comes from wind power, the report said.

The industry association expects continued growth. “Wind delivered big results for the U.S. economy in 2017. Building new wind farms keeps American factory and construction workers busy, while breathing new life into farming and ranching communities,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “This American success story will continue, with the wind project construction and advanced development pipeline four times greater than the amount installed in 2017. That means tens of billions in additional infrastructure investment is on its way to the United States of America.”

In addition to utilities installing new wind generators, non-utility customers are also getting in the game. Google, Facebook and Digital Realty are among those buying wind generators.Utilities still accounted for 60 percent of new capacity in 2017.

Cost to generate electricity with wind fell 4 percent last year, according to the investment firm Lazard, which also said that wind is now cheaper than conventional energy sources in some parts of the country even without incentives.

The industry is moving quickly to establish offshore wind energy facilities with now five in production. Vestas is working with Clemson University to test what will be its largest turbine, which is intended for use offshore. The 9.5 megawatt offshore turbine is one of the biggest in the world.  

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — By the end of 2017, U.S. utilities were generating 89,077 megawatts of electricity from wind turbines. Of that, 3,104 MW were generated in Colorado.

In its fourth quarter report, the American Wind Energy Association said that the industry added 7,017 MW during 2017, which is up 34 percent over what was added in 2016.

Colorado ranks ninth among the states for installed wind energy with 1,949 turbines in use. The state leaders are Texas, Oklahoma and Iowa. Colorado has one utility scale project in advanced development, the Xcel Energy 600 MW Rush Creek Wind Project.

Colorado ranks higher as a developer of wind energy technology. The state has 17 manufacturing facilities including the Vestas blade and turbine plants in Northern Colorado, according to the report. Those manufacturing facilities place the state fourth among the states in wind energy employment with between 6,000 and 7,000 jobs either directly or indirectly in the industry.

About 17 percent of the electricity consumed in the state comes from wind power, the report said.

The industry association expects continued growth. “Wind delivered big results for the U.S. economy in 2017. Building new wind farms keeps American factory and construction workers busy, while breathing new life into farming and ranching communities,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “This American success story will continue, with the wind project construction and advanced development pipeline four times greater than the amount installed in 2017. That means tens of billions in…