Iowa is now beating out California in generation of electricity from wind power. Do you know those wind turbines that you pass on the way to Palm Springs when driving from L.A.? That’s the San Gorgonio wind farm, one of the three big wind farms in California. Together the three generated a record 5% of California’s electric needs (2,432 megawatts) in April this year.
But Iowa has us and the rest of the country beat when it comes to percentage of electricity demand provided by wind. Their wind power farms set a record of 20% of state electricity needs in the second quarter of 2011, with 4,000 megawatts of installed wind farm capacity.
In terms of total generation, the top wind power state is Texas, with 9,000 megawatts of installed capacity. Of course, Texas has a lot more people than Iowa, so wind power accounts for a lower percentage of its electric needs.
After the 2008 financial crash, the wind power industry, along with a lot of the economy, declined. However, it’s now on the upsurge. According the American Wind Energy Association, “7,354 megawatts of new capacity was under construction nationally by July 1, more than at any time since the third quarter of 2008.”
(Information for this article provided by Care2 newsletter and Brian Merchant, a Treehugger blogger.)
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CEO, The Electric Connection