Wind power increases as prices fall

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FILE – This May 6, 2013 file photo shows a wind turbine farm owned by PacifiCorp near Glenrock, Wyo. Bigger, more efficient equipment will allow a western U.S. electric utility to redevelop an aging Wyoming wind farm with far fewer turbines while generating the same amount of power. Portland, Oregon-based PacifiCorp plans to replace 68 wind turbines at the Foote Creek I wind farm with 13 turbines over the next year. (AP Photo/Matt Young)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLNS) – A new government report shows installations increase as price continues to fall for wind power.

The 2018 annual market report from the U.S. Department of Energy included technology, performance and cost in three sectors: utility-scale land-based, offshore, and distributed wind.

7,588 megawatts of utility-scale land-based wind was installed during 2018 along with record low costs and prices. This addition brings total utility-scale wind capacity to over 96 gigawatts. At 114,000 jobs the wind industry employment is at an all-time high. Wind energy provides 6.5% of the nation’s electricity and in 2018 pre-purchase prices were below two cents per kilowatt-hour. The 2018 Wind Technologies Market Report was prepared by DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Offshore, the U.S. has a pipeline of 25,824 megawatts in various stages of development. California and Hawaii have several early-stage floating offshore wind projects in the planning phase. The 2018 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Report was prepared by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The U.S. distributed wind sector now stands at 1,127 megawatts from over 83,000 wind turbines across all 50 states. The average capacity of large-scale turbines installed in distributed applications in 2018 was 2.1 megawatts which is almost double the capacity of turbines used in 2003. The 2018 Distributed Wind Market Report was prepared by DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

“Onshore wind energy installation continues to grow across the country,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “And with over 25 gigawatts in the development pipeline, U.S. offshore wind is poised to be a significant part of our comprehensive energy portfolio in the coming years.”

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