Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

U.S. Wind Power Building Boom Follows 92 Percent Crash

U.S. Wind Power Construction Booms After 92 Percent Drop in 2013
Vestas Wind Systems turbines at the Maple Ridge Wind Farm on the Tug Hill Plateau in Lowville, New York on Aug. 23, 2013. Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg

More than 12,000 megawatts of U.S. wind farms were under construction at the end of 2013, the most ever, as developers raced to qualify for an expiring federal tax credit, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

That’s about 11 times the amount of wind power that went into service last year after installations plunged 92 percent to 1,084 megawatts, the Washington-based trade group said today in a statement.

Congress let the production tax credit lapse briefly at the start of last year, and uncertainty over the policy slowed wind development almost to a halt after 13,131 megawatts of new turbines were added in 2012. Once the credit was reinstated, it took much of the year for development activity to resume, said Liz Salerno, AWEA’s chief analyst.

“We knew 2013 was going to be lackluster after the record installations in 2012,” she said in an interview today. Now the industry is gearing up for significant growth, with 10,900 megawatts beginning construction in the fourth quarter. “That’s an unprecedented level of activity.”

Developers that signed contracts to sell wind power to utilities, and haven’t yet started construction should complete an additional 5,200 megawatts over the next two years, AWEA said.

The credit pays owners of wind farms 2.3 cents a kilowatt-hour for electricity. When the incentive lapsed, it covered projects that went into service by the end of 2012, part of the reason why it was a record year.

When it was extended for a year at the start of 2013, the language was changed to apply to power plants that began construction by Dec. 31. That spurred the fourth-quarter surge in new construction, Salerno said.

That shift is driving demand for new turbines. At the end of last year developers signed contracts for equipment from manufacturers including General Electric Co. and Siemens AG. Down payments of 5 percent of a project’s total cost may qualify a project for the credit.

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.