August 12, 2013

California still leads the nation in wind power generation

California still leads the nation in wind power generation, but the rest of the country is catching up with wind farms for energy, according to reports released by the U.S. Department of Energy.

According to a report in the Sacramento Business Journal, the nation’s wind power capacity rose above 60 gigawatts in 2012, which is enough to power 15 million homes. In 2012 California installed 1,656 megawatts of new wind power capacity bringing the to more than 5,540 megawatts. California generates about 7 percent of its electricity from wind farms.

California led the nation in development of wind farms for 20 years and it wasn’t until 1994 that the first utility wind farm outside of California opened in southern Minnesota at a time when California had 53 wind farms statewide.

The Department of Energy report estimated that the wind power industry now employs more than 80,000 American workers in engineering and construction and that 72 percent of the wind turbine equipment installed in the U.S. in 2012 was manufactured in the U.S. The full report can be found at at this link: http://energy.gov/wind-report

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