There are currently more than 52,000 utility-scale wind turbines in operation across 42 states, as well as in Guam and Puerto Rico, powering the equivalent of 25 million American homes. U.S. companies have invested $143 billion in new wind projects during the last 10 years, with the total number of wind-related jobs surpassing 100,000 in 2016. Wind projects paid at least $245 million in lease payments to U.S. landowners during the same year, with local taxes helping rural communities pay for schools, emergency services, and infrastructure. The wind-power industry is heavily affected by federal and state regulations, as well as prices for competing energy sources.
When valuing wind-power assets, we keep one eye on political factors in Washington, as well as tax code changes, regional GDP growth, and fluctuating prices for natural gas. For wind M&E, we take a hard look at wear and tear, and examine maintenance logs to check that regular service and upgrades have been performed.