Wind - Smart Energy Decisions

Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  March 6, 2017

EIA says wind reached 5.5% of US grid in 2016

Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma and North Dakota all sourced more than 20% of their electricity generation from wind power during 2016, according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

According to the data, wind supplied more than 5.5% of U.S. electricity nationwide, a 4.7% increase from 2015.

The American Wind Energy Association said in a news release March 6 that the resource's steady growth has occurred primarily in rural areas, where 99% of U.S. wind turbines are located. The industry invested more than $13.8 billion in new turbines last year, according to AWEA. 

"Wind is now cheaply and reliably supplying more than 20% of the electricity in five states and is a testament to American leadership and innovation," AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan said in a statement. "For these states, and across America, wind is welcome because it means jobs, investment, and a better tomorrow for rural communities." 

EIA's new data show that wind turbines operating in 40 states generated a record total of 226 million MWh during 2016, approximately four times the amount of solar electricity production and approaching what hydroelectric dams generate in America. As AWEA noted in its most recent market report, nonutility purchasers such as GM, Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Defense represented 39% of wind purchased in 2016 through long-term contracts, totaling 1,574 MW.

In Oklahoma, wind’s share of total electricity generation grew from 18.4 percent in 2015 to 25.1 percent in 2016. In Iowa, wind grew from 31.5 percent to 36.6 percent – the highest in the nation – and in Kansas, wind’s share increased from 24.1 percent to 29.6 percent. The Dakotas also saw significant gains, with South Dakota becoming the second state in the country to generate over 30 percent of its electricity from wind energy, and North Dakota rising to 21.5 percent wind.

Tags: AWEA
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