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Learn From the 12 States That Produced 80 Percent of 2013’s Wind Power

The U.S. is increasing the amount of energy it generates from wind power. In 2013, wind-generated electricity rose to 4.1 percent of all generated electricity in the U.S., compared to 3.5 percent in 2012.

This is a milestone for wind energy in the U.S., which is now the fifth largest electricity source in the country, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The amount of wind-generated electricity has tripled since 2008 because of new technologies and an increase in wind power projects.

The States and Wind Power

In 2013, all but 13 states reported they generated some electricity from wind, the EIA reported. But even though wind power is increasing across the country, only a dozen states dominate the field. Last year, 12 states produced 80 percent of wind-generated electricity.

Texas generates the most wind power out of all the states at nearly 36 million megawatt hours. This is enough to power to 3.3 million homes, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). ERCOT, the main electric grid in Texas, received nearly 10 percent of its electricity from wind power in 2013 and is on track to exceed the 10 percent mark in the coming years.

Iowa is the second highest wind electricity generating state at 15 million MWh last year.

The other ten states include: California, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota (which is also focusing on solar energy initiatives), Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Wyoming and North Dakota. Overall, these 12 states produce 134 million MWh of electricity out of the total 167 million MWh of wind power produced in the U.S.

Wind Turbine Projects

After Congress extended the federal renewable energy production tax credit, more wind energy projects began construction.

According to the AWEA’s first quarter 2014 market report, during the first quarter, 133 turbines were installed in six different projects located in five different states. This amounts to 214 megawatts of electricity and is more than the amount installed in the first nine months of 2013.

There are also currently more than 13,000 megawatts of wind power under construction in more than 95 projects throughout 21 states. Most of the new construction is in Texas, which is adding approximately 8,000 MW, and Iowa, which is adding more than 1,000 MW.

Wind turbine projects are expected to increase throughout 2014. Utilities in states like Texas and Iowa could serve as examples for others looking to increase their use of wind-generated electricity.

You may want to follow the wind power production trends in these states to learn about best practices you could implement in your operations.