Wall Street Journal

U.S. companies installed a record amount of wind power in 2012, according to an industry study, but new construction has nearly halted because Congress waited until the last minute to extend a wind-power tax credit.

The American Wind Energy Association's quarterly market report counted 13,124 megawatts installed in the U.S. during 2012. That outstripped the previous record set in 2009 by about 3,000 megawatts and represented about $25 billion in private investment, the association said.

Installations surged to 8,380 megawatts in the fourth quarter, as wind developers raced to install projects in time to claim a tax credit for wind-electricity production that was set to expire at the end of 2012. Congress extended the credit as part of a New Year's Day deal on tax policy, allowing projects that start construction in 2013 to claim the credit as well.

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