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Cheap Wind Power Drew Major Investment In 2014

Apr 24th 2015 at 1:18 AM

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The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) says that in 2014 nearly a quarter of direct investment in wind power came from private U.S. businesses, universities and government agencies, due to a 50 per cent drop in the cost of wind-derived electricity in the past five years."Over 23 per cent of the wind power contracts signed in 2014 were with corporate buyers and other non-utility groups," said Emily Williams, Deputy Director, Industry Data and Analysis for AWEA. "This trend is a meaningful source of new demand for wind power. The private and public sectors are saying ‘we value wind power, and we want more of it.’"The statement from the industry group comes in the lead-up to a major new analysis of the state of the American wind power sector. AWEA’s 2014 U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report, set for release on April 15, will provide an update on jobs numbers in the market, as well as new investment figures and state-by-state comparisons of wind capacity growth into the future.Major corporations like Amazon, Dow Chemical, and Yahoo!


last year signed up to their first ever power purchase agreements (PPAs) for wind-generated electricity, while tech giants Google and Microsoft continued to expand their fleet of wind facilities. In the public sector, the U.S. General Services Administration joined with the U.S. Air Force along with three major Universities - Cornell, Oklahoma State and Ohio State to all purchase wind energy.According to AWEA, over 1,770 MW of wind PPAs were signed in 2014 by commercial and industrial, governmental, and educational institutions.

Some key signings of 2014 include:IKEA purchased a 98-MW Illinois wind farm and a 165-MW Texas wind farmFacebook and Google signed contracts directly with the utility MidAmerican Energy for up to 547 MW of Iowa wind-sourced energyMars signed a long-term agreement for the renewable energy certificates from a  200-MW Texas wind project that is currently under constructionMany corporations and agencies wanting to offset their carbon footprint were turning to wind power as a greener option for electricity, not only as a popular public relations measure but also as a hedge against sudden spikes in the cost of fossil fuel-driven power."Successful brands and businesses increasingly see low-cost wind power as a great value," said American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) CEO Tom Kiernan. "We’re seeing an expanding market for corporate purchasers that value wind both because it is clean and offers stable electricity prices."

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