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Wind energy trade group raises forecast

Nov 8, 2007 - The Associated Press

U.S. wind energy providers are on track to add 4,000 megawatts of generating capacity in 2007, enough new electricity to power more than 1 million homes, the industry's trade group said Wednesday.

The revised figure, updated from a previous estimate of adding 3,000 megawatts of capacity, represents a 63 percent increase compared with 2006, the American Wind Energy Association said in its third-quarter market report. Last year ended with a total of more than 11,600 megawatts of capacity.

The trade group, whose members include Exelon Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and FPL Group Inc., said the industry already has added more than 2,300 megawatts of generating capacity to the U.S. electrical grid this year with a total of more than 5,000 megawatts under construction.

Still, Randall Swisher, the association's executive director, urged Congress and President Bush to complete legislation that extends the renewable energy production tax credit set to expire in December 2008, and to establish a national standard for renewable electricity.

Wind farms currently account for less than 1 percent of the U.S. power supply, but the trade group expects that to reach 1 percent next year with the additional capacity.

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