U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Texas Firms its Lead Over California in Wind Power Capacity
April 18, 2007
A continued rapid pace of wind power development in Texas has firmed
up its claim to the title as the state with the most wind power
capacity. California has long been the U.S. leader in terms of wind
power, but with its much greater wind resource, Texas gained a thin
lead in mid-2006 and greatly extended that lead later in the year.
Although both states have policies favorable to wind power, California
added 211 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity in 2006, while Texas
added 773 MW, boosting its total to 2,768 MW. The wind power rankings,
released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) on April 11th,
place Texas wind power capacity a full 17 percent greater than the
wind power capacity in California. A key to the rise in status for the
Lone Star State is FPL Energy's expansion of the Horse Hollow wind
energy center to 736 MW, making it the largest wind power facility in
the world, and the expansion of the Sweetwater wind facility to
264 MW, making it the fifth largest wind plant in the United States.
According to AWEA, another 1,000 MW of wind power are currently under
construction in Texas.
New York State failed to make AWEA's top-five list, but it has earned
a place of honor for featuring the country's second-largest wind
facility, the Maple Ridge Wind Farm, which has been expanded to
322 MW. GE Energy maintained its leading role as a wind turbine
supplier for U.S. wind plants, providing enough turbines to generate
1,146 MW of wind power, but faced new competition from Siemens, which
provided 573 MW of wind turbines in 2006. Wind turbines also continued
to gain in size, with Vestas installing 3-MW wind turbines for a
project in California, while Siemens installed 2.3-MW wind turbines in
Minnesota, North Dakota, and Texas. However, GE Energy's 1.5-MW wind
turbine is still the most widely installed turbine in the country. See
the AWEA press release.
Wind turbine sales are still going strong this year. In mid-February,
GE Energy announced that it will provide 300 of its 1.5-MW wind
turbines to Noble Environmental Power for projects to be built in New
York State this year and next. In March, enXco bought 184 of GE
Energy's 1.5-MW wind turbines for delivery by 2008, and We Energies
bought 88 1.65-MW wind turbines from Vestas Wind Systems for its Blue
Sky Green Field wind project. Last week, enXco company bought 75 2-MW
wind turbines from Repower Systems AG, and Tierra Energy bought 42
2.1-MW wind turbines from Suzlon Wind Energy Corporation. See the March 23rd and April 11th enXco press releases, and the press releases from GE Energy, We Energies, and Suzlon (PDF 29 KB). Download Adobe Reader.