U.S. wind energy capacity additions are expected to hit near annual record highs in 2019 and 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Thursday in a statement.
Wind capacity additions this year through June 2019 totaled 3.7 gigawatts (GW) while operators estimate another 8.5 GW will come online for the remaining of this year, the EIA said.
For 2020, an additional wind energy capacity of 14.3 GW is anticipated, the EIA added.
The record level of annual wind energy capacity additions were last set in 2012, according to the administration.
"Changes in annual wind capacity additions in the U.S. are often related to changes in tax incentives," the statement said.
The U.S.' production tax credit (PTC) provides operators a tax credit per kilowatt-hour of renewable electricity generated for the first 10 years a facility is in operation, the EIA explained.
However, in order to receive the full 2016 PTC value, U.S. wind projects must come online by December 2020, the Administration said.
“As in previous years, many of the 2020 wind capacity additions are expected to come online in December," it added.
According to reported dates for wind projects coming online in 2020, the EIA said it expects 7.2 GW of wind energy capacity to be completed in December.
By Ovunc Kutlu