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Wind Industry Powers Record Year

Compiled By Jill Jusko In 2001 the U.S. wind energy industry installed nearly 1,700 megawatts of new generating equipment, setting a new record that more than doubles the previous best -- set in 1999, when some 732 megawatts was installed. "2001 was an astonishing year for our industry in the U.S.," says Randall Swisher, executive director of the Washington-based American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. "More new wind generation was installed in a single state -- Texas [over 900 megawatts] -- than had ever been installed in the entire country in a single year." The AWEA says the new wind farms in 2001 will generate enough electricity annually to power 475,000 average American households and will displace emissions of 3 million tons on carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas. However, prospects for another record-setting year in 2002 are dim, the trade association says, due to the expiration of a key tax incentive for wind generation.

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