BP and Wind EnergyBP is the principal owner and operator of wind power facilities with interests in 13 wind farms across the US. BP has a gross generating capacity of 1,955 MW – enough electricity to power over 586,000 average American homes.
It has taken just 60 months for BP Wind Energy to go from zero turbines to the 1,000 milestone and, by the time 2012 is finished, the company will have a total electrical generating capacity of 2,600MW, located across eight US states.
Why the US?In 2011 6,810 MW of wind power capacity was installed in the US, the US wind industry now totals 46,919 MW of cumulative wind capacity through the end of 2011. There are over 8,300 MW currently under construction involving over 100 separate projects spanning 31 states.
The US wind industry has added over 35% of all new generating capacity over the past 4 years, second only to natural gas, and more than nuclear and coal combined. Today, US wind power capacity represents more than 20% of the world's installed wind power.
Today, the U.S. wind industry represents not only a large market for wind power capacity installations, but also a growing market for American manufacturing. Over 400 manufacturing facilities across the U.S. make components for wind turbines, and dedicated wind facilities that manufacture major components such as towers, blades and assembled nacelles can be found in every region.
For more US wind industry statistics visit the American Wind Energy Association.
Why wind power?Wind power is safe, clean and increasingly affordable – with the potential for production on a much larger scale.
Government support is crucial in ensuring the expansion of wind power. We believe such support should be transitional and limited. In the US, there is continuing uncertainty over the renewal of the production tax credit, which provides incentives to invest in wind energy. We are working with other wind energy suppliers to make an effective case for wind energy generation and the renewal of the production tax credit.
Wind farms can provide large volumes of electricity (sometimes at a lower cost than conventional power generation)
Wind energy and the environmentWhile wind farms can be an attractive alternative energy offering, they can also stir debate. During the planning stage for each new wind farm we assess the potential social and environmental impacts.
- The impact on wildlife and habitat
- The impact of wind farms on local residents
- Noise from wind turbines
- Shadow flicker
- Interference with communications signals
We then take steps to manage any negative impacts through engineering design changes, technology and other elements.
Getting wind-generated electricity to high-population areasWind farms are often sited in remote locations, well away from population centres. In many areas of the U.S. that are ripe for future wind energy development, the transmission infrastructure needed to bring that energy to market does not yet exist.
We are working with relevant government agencies to promote vital transmission upgrades, to encourage the construction of new lines, and to promote fair-cost allocation policies with respect to all transmissions.