Total installed onshore wind power capacity in the United States has already exceeded 100 gigawatts (GW), with more than half of that nameplate capacity installed over the past seven years, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday.
Wind, together with solar power, has been one of the fastest growing energy sectors this year.
Onshore wind capacity in the U.S. has surged in recent years, more than tripling over the past decade, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
The largest oil-producing region in the United States, Texas, is also the American champion in wind power installation and electricity generation. As of the third quarter of this year, Texas had the most onshore wind capacity installed—26.9 GW—followed by Iowa, Oklahoma, and Kansas. These four states accounted for half of all installed onshore wind capacity in the U.S.
A total of 41 states had at least one installed wind turbine at the end of Q3, according to the EIA.
Texas has accounted for more than 25 percent of U.S. wind electricity generation in each of the past three years, the EIA said earlier this year. Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Kansas generated more than half of the U.S. electricity from wind power in 2018.
According to AWEA’s annual report for 2018, total U.S. wind power capacity increased by 8 percent in 2018 to 96,433 MW. This was more than double the capacity that the U.S. had in 2010.
As of the end of September 2019, the installed operating wind capacity in the U.S. had increased to 100,125 MW, or more than 100 GW, the association’s figures show.
The industry supported 114,000 jobs in 2018 across all states, and added last year 8,500 wind power jobs, including well-paying jobs in wind turbine service, construction, engineering, and manufacturing. The wind power sector contributes more than US$1 billion in annual revenue for states and communities that host wind farms.
Last year, wind energy generated 6.5 percent of America’s electricity, enough to power 26 million homes, according AWEA.