• AWEA works on the concept of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) under the Energy Policy Act of 1992, gaining bipartisan backing from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Philip Sharp (D-Ind.). The PTC rewards high-quality, long-lasting products, which entices investors and triggers development. However, the PTC expires several times between 1999 and 2003. This uncertain business environment causes several boom and bust cycles.


  • The variable-speed turbine is introduced by Kenetech (previously U.S. Windpower). The technology adjusts to wind’s speed instead of operating at a single speed, meaning less wasted energy, less wear-and-tear, lower costs, and less expensive parts.

  • The National Wind Technology Center is founded in Boulder, Colo., by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). It is the premier wind energy technology research facility in the United States.


  • The National Wind Coordinating Collaborative forms. AWEA and a diverse group of wind energy proponents unite in order to address a number of wind-related issues, over time focusing on ways to address wind energy’s interaction with wildlife and their habitats. The consensus-based group promotes the shared goal of developing U.S. commercial markets for wind power while conserving natural resources, beginning American wind power’s longstanding legacy of care for wildlife and the environment.


  • AWEA further develops Iowa’s renewable portfolio standard concept. Along with the Union of Concerned Scientists, AWEA helps get RPS provisions passed in 12 states and written into several electric restructuring bills.

  • A wind farm in Lake Benton, Minn., is the first to be built in a single phase, by a single owner, and exceed 100 megawatts (MW). The project by Enron Wind (later GE Wind) boasts over 106 MW of generating capacity.


  • American wind power has a record-breaking year, with more than 880 MW installed in states like Iowa, Minnesota and Texas thanks to the PTC and state RPS’s. Total wind capacity for the United States is about 2,500 MW.

  • York Industries installs the first 80-meter (263-foot) tower at the Big Spring II wind power project (now owned by Terra-Gen) in Texas.