By Dow Jones Business News, September 26, 2013, 04:42:00 PM EDT
By Cassandra Sweet
Danish wind-turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWDRY, VWS.KO) completed a major supply deal with U.S. utility
giant Duke Energy Corp. ( DUK ) in a sign that the U.S. wind-power market may be gaining steam.
Vestas will supply 400 megawatts of power-generating turbines for wind farms that Duke plans to build in Texas under
Vestas's American Depository Receipts rose more than 7% Thursday to $7.96.
The U.S. wind-power market slowed during the first half of this year, after the industry rushed to build projects by
the end of 2012 to take advantage of a key federal subsidy that was scheduled to expire last Dec. 31. Congress extended
the federal tax credit subsidy at the very end of December, after developers already had scaled back plans for new
After a slow start, the U.S. wind-power market has been picking up this year, as utilities look to sign new contracts
for renewable energy, said Chris Brown, president of Vestas's U.S. business.
"We had a huge second quarter for responses, now those responses are turning into orders," Mr. Brown said.
Duke Energy said Thursday that its renewable energy unit plans to build two wind farms near Brownsville, Texas, and
sell the electricity to municipal utility Austin Energy under two 25-year contracts. One project is scheduled to be
completed in 2015, and the other in 2016.
Duke has five other wind farms in Texas. The company has signed long-term power purchase agreements with utilities to
sell the electricity from all its Texas wind farms, a spokeswoman for Duke said.
Wind power developers installed a record 13,100 megawatts of wind farms in 2012, at a value of $25 billion, according
to an August study by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Last year's frantic pace of wind installations, with nearly double
the amount installed in 2011, was driven largely by concerns that expiring federal tax credits for wind power wouldn't
be extended. Lower prices also helped fuel the market, with total installation costs down by about 10% in 2012, over the
previous year, to an average of $1,940 per kilowatt, the study found.
Vestas was the No. 3 wind-turbine supplier in the U.S. in 2012, behind General Electric Co. and Siemens, according to
the LBNL study.
Write to Cassandra Sweet at email@example.com
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