BP likes US wind

There must be something in the US wind energy market that attracts big oil and energy firm BP.

Last month, BP said it will focus its wind energy portfolio in the US while at the same time divesting its wind power interests in India. BP’s subsidiary, BP Energy India Private Limited (BPEIPL), which owns and operates three wind farms in India with a total generating capacity of approximately 100 megawatts (MW), was sold for a total cash-free, debt-free enterprise value of around $95 million to Green Infra Limited.

BP’s US wind energy portfolio now includes 100 projects, with a total potential generating capacity of up to 20,000 MW.

According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), U.S. wind energy installed in the second quarter was 1,210 megawatts (MW) of new power generating capacity, bringing the total added this year to just over 4,000 MW.

Total U.S. wind power generating capacity to date is 29,440 MW. The state posting the fastest growth in the 2nd quarter was Missouri, where wind power installations expanded by 90%, according to AWEA.

Pennsylvania and South Dakota ranked second and third in terms of growth rate in the second quarter, expanding by 28% and 21% respectively.

Also in the second quarter, 3 wind turbine and turbine component manufacturing facilities were opened, four facilities were expanding, and eight new facilities were announced, said AWEA.

Unfortunately, the economic recession have impacted wind turbine component manufacturing this year. AWEA said many existing supply chain companies have stopped hiring or have furloughed employees due to the slowdown in contracts for wind turbines. Wind turbine component manufacturing investment was one of the bright spots in the economy in 2008, with 55 facilities added, expanded or announced that year. In the first half of this year, only up to 20 facilities were opened, expanded and or announced for investment.

The US, however, is not the only country affected. NextGen Research said the global recession dealt a glancing blow to the wind power industry in 2009 by forcing many developers to cancel or delay projects. The industry is expected to rebound sharply next year as credit markets thaw and the flow of capital resumes.

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