WASHINGTON, August 30, 2017 - According to the Wind Technologies Market Report, wind power additions are up, costs are down and turbine size is growing. The report, released by the Energy Department, showed that $13 billion was invested in new wind power plants in 2016. Turbines contributed 5.6 percent of the nation’s electricity supply, producing more than 10 percent of total electricity in 14 states. In Iowa, South Dakota, and Kansas wind comprised 29 to 37 percent of electricity. Bigger turbines mean enhanced wind project performance. Increased blade lengths have dramatically increased wind project capacity factors. Low wind turbine pricing continues to push down installed project costs. Overall, the average installed cost of wind projects in 2016 was $1,590/kW, down $780 from the peak in 2009 and 2010. Wind energy prices top out at nearly 7 cents/kWh for power purchase agreements (PPAs) executed in 2009, while the national average price of wind PPAs has dropped to around 2 cents/kWh. These prices, which are possible in part due to federal tax support, compare favorably to the projected future fuel costs of gas-fired generation. Wind sector employment reached a new high of more than 101,000 full-time workers at the end of 2016.
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