In its “Third Quarter Market Report,” the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reported that the wind energy industry will install about 2,500MW of new wind power this year, an expansion of more than 35% from last year. According to AWEA's report, the building boom that is underway could bring the cumulative total of U.S. installed wind capacity to more than 9,200MW, serving the equivalent of 2.4 million average U.S. homes. AWEA projects that more than 14,000MW of wind capacity could be part of the nation's generation supply by the end of 2007.
Contributing to the wind energy installation rush is Juno, Fla.-based FPL Energy. The company recently announced it has received the necessary approvals to begin construction of 33 1.5MW wind turbines on more than 8,000 acres southeast of Wilton in Burleigh County, North Dakota. The project also includes a 4.4-mile high-voltage transmission line that will connect to an existing transmission line owned by the Western Area Power Administration. The electricity output — 49.5MW — will be sold to Basin Electric Power Cooperative under a long-term contract. The turbines will provide enough electricity to meet the demands of nearly 15,000 homes.