A Step in a Positive Direction: Wind Power Represented 40% of All New U.S. Electricitiy Generation for 2009
The Department of Energy came out with facts on the achievements of wind power generation in 2009. A blog focusing on offshore wind news captured the important aspects. Some things don’t need paraphrasing:
“In 2009, the U.S. wind power industry installed 10,010 MW of generating capacity, increasing the country’s installed wind farm capacity by 39%; wind power represented 40% of all new U.S. electric generation capacity for the year. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the wind turbines added in 2009 generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 2.4 million homes—the generation capacity of three large nuclear power plants.
The entire wind turbine fleet’s generation capacity—more than 35,000 MW—is enough to power nearly 10 million homes. Each year, this wind power capacity will avoid an estimated 62 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to taking 10.5 million cars off the road, and will conserve about 20 billion gallons of water that would otherwise be withdrawn for steam or cooling in conventional power plants.
Wind power now contributes nearly 2% of the total U.S. electricity supply, and wind contributes up to 14% of some individual states’ electrical generation. Renewable energy standards are credited with the rapid growth of wind power in Texas, including the world’s largest land-based wind farm, which was constructed in just over two years. The Roscoe Wind Farm’s 627 wind turbines, totaling 781.5 MW, can generate electricity for more than 230,000 U.S. homes.
The small wind market increased by 20 MW in 2009, a 15% increase over 2008, bringing the total capacity for this sector to more than 100 MW. AWEA estimates that 10,000 wind turbines with rated capacities of 100 kW or less were installed in 2009. More than 2,700 MW of utility-scale wind farm projects were under construction at the close of 2009. Nearly 270,000 MW of wind farm projects were in line for interconnection agreements, an early stage of project development.”
Maine is not one of the top ten states labeled as a leader for wind generation. However, the rank was based on currently generated amounts, which had states dominating in onshore wind development. Given the newly established regional task force for offshore wind development, it is not unlikely that in the near future, a new list of leaders for offshore wind will develop with Maine at the forefront.
To Read more click here.
To read the DOE Fact Sheet on it, click here.