Oregon sees wind energy jump in third quarter
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Oregon is has the fourth largest installed capacity for wind energy in the U.S.
Thanks to the giant Shepherds Flat wind farm, Oregon saw a significant jump in its installed wind energy capacity in the third quarter, contributing to the 1,833 megawatts of new wind power installed in the U.S. between July and September.
The final phases of the Shepherds Flat wind farm came online in September, adding another 333 megawatts of wind energy capacity to Oregon's tally, according to the quarterly wind industry report published by the American Wind Energy Association.
The only state to add more wind energy capacity during the third quarter was Kansas, which added 463 megawatts of wind.
Oregon now has a total of 3,153 megawatts of wind energy being generated within its borders, making it the fourth most wind energy-heavy state behind Texas, California and Iowa. A megawatt of wind is roughly enough to power about 300 homes.
The U.S. crossed the 50 gigawatt threshold for total wind power installations in August.
In reporting the third-quarter results, the American Wind Energy Association took the opportunity to point out how much the industry has benefited from the Federal Production Tax Credit, which is set to expire at the end of the year.
"This is what a successful policy looks like when it’s working, but whether wind will continue to be a bright spot in the U.S. economy now depends on whether Congress acts to extend the Production Tax Credit by the end of the year," said Denise Bode, CEO of AWEA, in a press release.
AWEA officials say the tax credit prompts $15 billion per year in private investment in U.S. wind farms.
A proposal to extend the tax credit for projects that start construction next year won bipartisan support from the Senate Finance Committee in August as part of an overall “tax extenders” package. It now awaits action by the full Congress, expected in its lame duck session after the election.
If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.