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Energy Efficiency

U.S. Wind Power Installations Surged to Record in 2020

Rotor blades sit on the ground next to a wind turbine under construction at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. The complex will eventually be equipped with 111 turbines and is scheduled to become fully operational by the end of this year. Photographer: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) —

The U.S. wind industry had its strongest year ever in 2020, nearly doubling installations from the prior year to reach a record high.

Developers built almost 17 gigawatts of capacity during the year, enough to power over 5 million homes, according to a report from the American Clean Power Association, a trade group. Most of that growth came in the fourth quarter as developers moved to complete projects before the expected expiration of federal tax incentives at year-end.

“2020 was a banner year,” said Heather Zichal, chief executive officer of the association. “Despite all the challenges Covid-19 placed on our businesses, we still shattered nearly every record for capacity and growth.”

The U.S. now has about 122 gigawatts of operating wind-power capacity in the U.S., enough to power about 38 million homes, the report said. Texas installed the most capacity last quarter, followed by Wyoming, Oklahoma and Iowa.

Worldwide, the offshore wind industry saw a 56% spike in spending on offshore wind projects, according to BloombergNEF.© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.