By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Feb. 2 -- The US wind energy industry broke its annual capacity installation record of 1,697 Mw of wind power in 2005 by installing 2,431 Mw, which amounts to more than $3 billion of new generating equipment in 22 states, said the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
The new capacity boosted total US wind-power generating capacity to 9,149 Mw and the number of states with commercial wind turbine installations to 30. Total US generation capacity in 2004, the last year for which the US Energy Information Administration has final numbers, was 962,942 Mw.
During 2006, the industry expects installation of 3,000 Mw of wind generation capacity. Congress has approved a 2-year extension of a tax credit for wind energy production.
AWEA estimates that currently installed wind power capacity will save more than 500 MMcfd of natural gas this year. Marketed gas production in 2004 averaged 53.5 bcfd.
California has the most wind power capacity installed, 2,150 Mw. Texas has 1,995 Mw installed and more proposed for 2006.