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More Facts to Know About Wind Energy in the US

20 Apr 14:00 by Steve Walia

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America has begun to invest heavily in wind energy, adding record levels of fresh capacity in 2016, alongside thousands of skilled new jobs. So what else is worth knowing about the wind power boom in the States?

47 PPA agreements were signed between green utility firms and large organisations - many of which are Fortune 500 companies - equating to over 4,000 MW of green energy last year. Factors behind this drive were cited as being the stable prices offered by wind energy and declining costs of the technology.

Integrated wind resource plans were submitted by developers detailing over 14,000 MW in new wind developments between 2014 and 2016. Additionally, 67 GW of fresh capacity has been queued up in the form of new projects in the last year alone. This is the biggest amount since 2009, when queued proposed projects totalled 67.3GW of fresh capacity.

In total, queued wind capacity is now totalling 136.8GW - the highest seen in five years.

At the same time, work to improve the transmission grid is continuing. Proposals to build inter-regional transmission lines are now being finalised. This could support delivery of almost 52,000 MW of wind power in the coming five years.

The benefits of wind power are also reaching every state. Over 74pc of the USA's districts have their own active wind power developments in place. Over $14 billion has been invested in new developments, which has supported over 102,000 skilled jobs in every state.

One other key bonus of operational wind power is that it is saving $7.4 billion on America's public health bill thanks to the reduction of nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere - pollutants which trigger asthma. At the same time, 87 billion gallons of water have been saved.