Generation from wind power plants was responsible for covering record 6.3% of US electricity demand in 2017, shows data of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
The country commissioned 7,017 MW wind farms last year, boosting its operating wind power capacity by 9%. Its cumulative installed wind turbine capacity at the end of 2017 was 88,973 MW, located in 41 states, Guam and Puerto Rico.
In its US Wind Industry Annual Market Report 2017, released on Tuesday, AWEA said wind is currently the largest source of renewables electricity. In terms of power capacity additions, New Mexico saw the fastest growth with 570 MW of new wind parks in 2017, lifting by 51% its 1,112 MW of installed wind power capacity at end-2016. An additional 1,723 MW of plants are currently under construction or in advanced development in New Mexico, putting the state on track to double its installed wind power capacity in the near term, AWEA said.
Last year, wind accounted for over 30% of the electricity in four US states, namely Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and South Dakota, while 14 states generated over 10% of their power from wind.
“American wind power reached new heights for energy generated and US jobs in 2017, ” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “Wind is competitively priced, reliable, and clean – a winning combination that’s creating economic growth in all 50 states,” he added.
The US wind industry currently employs 105,500 people across all 50 states.
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