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US WIND POWER
TO GROW 26 PERCENT

Wind power generation in the United States will grow 26 percent in 2007, after increasing by 27 percent in 2006, the American Wind Energy Association said Tuesday.

In 2006, 2,454 megawatts of new wind generating capacity was installed, with US$4 billion invested, the AWEA said. Only natural gas generating plants accounted for more new power generation capacity last year. A megawatt of wind power can serve between 250 and 300 homes on an average day.

There are now about 11,604 MW of wind power generation capacity, up from 10,000 MW just four months ago.

The federal "production tax credit" for wind power was recently extended to December 2008, which will help the growth in wind power, the AWEA said.

The AWEA wants the tax credit extended for an additional five years.

Wind power is attractive to utilities and governments wishing to produce power without creating greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

Texas in 2006 took over from California as the top generator of wind power. Texas has the largest operating wind farm in the world, the 735-MW Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center in Nolan and Taylor counties.

Texas installed 774 MW of new wind generation last year, followed by Washington (428 MW), California (212 MW), New York (185 MW) and Minnesota (150 MW).

Written by: Planet Ark


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