Record Quarter Wind Turbine Installation for U.S

This is Keith Johnson’s article from The Wall Street Journal’s Blog:

Like the “Jaws” character in the old James Bond movies, it seems nothing can stop the U.S. wind power industry.

This was supposed to be the year that wasn’t for wind power, thanks to the economic meltdown and credit crunch. Yet the industry keeps on trucking—third-quarter U.S. wind-power installations topped 1,600 megawatts, which was more than in the same quarter during the record-setting 2008. That was largely due to the impact of U.S. stimulus funding, the American Wind Energy Association said.

So far this year, the U.S. has installed 5,800 megawatts of wind power—again, more than at the same time last year (4,200 megawatts). That’s nearly as much as the industry initially expected to install during the entire year.

That brings total U.S. wind power installations to more than 31,000 megawatts, which leads the world. (That’s the equivalent of 31 nuclear power plants on paper, and about 10 nuclear plants in reality.)

The U.S. wind industry is still nervous, though, and expects fourth-quarter performance will—finally–fall short of last year’s pace. The industry wants more help from Washington: “A firm, long-term national commitment to renewable energy” is still needed to boost wind-turbine manufacturing, said AWEA chief executive Denise Bode.

One American wind-power company seems to be doing alright at least. General Electric dominated the third quarter, supplying the turbines used in 10 of the 23 wind farms that were built.

Of the 51 farms currently under construction which have announced tbeir turbine maker, GE has 21. Other manufacturers in the hunt are Siemens and Vestas, with 8 farms each. Notably absent from the current pipeline—Spain’s Gamesa, one of the global heavyweights


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