Wind Power

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 100 companies in the US use wind power to drive a turbine and produce electric energy, which is provided to electric power transmission systems or electric power distribution systems. Utility-scale turbines are generally defined as turbines that exceed 100KW in capacity, but typically range from 1.5 to 7.5MW. Wind energy accounts for about 8.4% of total US electricity generation and about 55.6% of electricity generation from renewable energy, according to the EIA.

“NIMBY” Opposition

Wind farms often face opposition from local residents concerned about noise, aesthetic impacts, and harm to bird populations.

Dependence on Government Support

Wind power has benefited from federal production tax credits (PTC) during the first 10 years of production and investment tax credits (ITC).

Industry size & Structure

The average wind electric power generator employs about 54-55 workers and generates about $75 million annually.

    • The wind electric power generator industry consists of about 100 firms that employ about 5,600 workers and generate almost $8 billion annually.
    • The industry is highly concentrated; the top eight companies account for 84% of industry revenue.
    • Large firms include Clearway Energy, Energy Capital Partners, and Caithness Energy.
    • Large owners of wind capacity include NextEra Energy, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Avangrid, and EDP.
    • Wind energy accounts for about 8.4% of total US electricity generation and about 55.6% of electricity generation from renewable energy, according to the EIA.
    • More than 56,000 land-based wind turbines operate across 42 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico and represent more than 105.6 gigawatts of energy capacity.
    • Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas, and California produced about 58% of total U.S. wind electricity generation in 2020.
    • Alta Wind Energy Center in California is the world’s second-largest wind farm generating 1,548 MW of electricity. Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island was the US’ first offshore wind farm.
                              Industry Forecast
                              Wind Power Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Recent Developments

                              Nov 9, 2022 - Delays Slow Wind Development Projects
                              • In the third quarter of 2022, the wind sector added 356 megawatts (MW) of new land-based generating capacity, down 78% compared to Q3 2021, according to the American Clean Power Association’s latest Clean Power Quarterly Market Report. The slowdown in the wind sector was due to supply chain-related delays and delays in grid interconnections. Overall, more than 1.1 GW of land-based wind that was planned to come online was delayed. However, most of those projects are projected to be completed before the end of the year. Texas had the strongest land-based wind project pipeline in Q3 2022, with 6,250 MW in development, followed by Wyoming with 3,000 MW. The leading states for offshore wind development include New York (4,362 MW in development), New Jersey (3,758 MW), Massachusetts (3,242 MW), and Virginia (2,587 MW). While the renewables sector faces some short-term setbacks, the ACP anticipates the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will help bring 550 gigawatts of clean energy online by 2030.
                              • Three-quarters of US adults say they would be interested in a job in the green industry sector, according to a recent survey by Mosaic, a firm offering financing for home solar installations. About a third of respondents said they felt their current level of experience and education make them well-qualified for green economy jobs, including solar, wind, geothermal, electric vehicles, and sustainable home improvements. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they would likely require on-the-job training to perform green energy jobs. Mosaic conducted the survey to better understand the US workforce’s willingness and ability to do green energy work amid widespread labor shortages. The IRA is expected to create more than 9 million jobs over the next 10 years, according to analysis by environmental group the BlueGreen Alliance and the Political Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
                              • The US’s nascent offshore wind industry is facing challenges due to inflation and other economic setbacks, according to Maritime Executive. In late October, wind energy development firm Avangrid asked state regulators in Massachusetts for a pause in its rate-approval process because development was no longer viable without cost revisions. Avangrid, which is developing a 1,200 MW wind installation off the Massachusetts coast, said higher commodities prices, rising interest rates, and supply chain disruptions have driven up project costs. The firm is seeking amendments to the power purchase agreements that set long-term prices for the project’s power output.
                              • In September, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island jointly issued a request for information (RFI) to help inform the states’ development of thousands of miles of transmission lines necessary to tie together offshore wind and other renewable energy developments that are expected to come online over the next 20 years, according to Utility Dive. Proposed solutions need to be “scalable, cost-effective, and sufficiently flexible to accommodate up to 8.4 GW from current and future New England leaseholds.” The RFI said the current transmission planning process doesn’t adequately consider possible grid reliability issues from offshore wind interconnections or what future upgrades might be needed.
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