Texas added most new wind capacity in 2012
Texas, already the biggest producer of wind power in the United States, added 1,826 megawatts of capacity last year, the most among the states, according to a new report by the American Wind Energy Association. The additions gave Texas 12,214 megawatts of capacity, which AWEA pointed out was more than total U.S. wind capacity of about 10,000 megawatts in 2006. California, Kansas, Oklahoma, Illinois and Iowa trailed Texas in wind capacity additions last year, while Nevada and Puerto Rico had their first wind installations. There are now 15 states with at least 1,000 megawatts of wind power capacity, AWEA said in its annual report. Texas has six of the nation's largest wind farms, but Oregon's Shpherds Flat in the past two years has become the largest project in the country with 845 megawatts of capacity. Texas' largest installation is the Roscoe wind farm operated by E.ON Climate & Renewables about 50 miles west of Abilene.
Iowa led the nation in the percentage of its energy demand filled by wind power, at 24.5 percent, just ahead of South Dakota's 23.9 percent, AWEA said. Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Colorado, Idaho and Oregon all got at least 10 percent of their electricity from wind in 2012. Texas, the biggest electricity user in the country, got 7.4 percent of its total demand from wind, AWEA said. That's lower than wind's 9.2 percent share of power used in the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas, the state's largest power grid, which includes most of West Texas and all of the Texas Gulf Coast, where most of the state's wind installations are found. Luminant Generation, the state's largest power generator and part of Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings, was No. 10 among U.S. power providers with wind capacity in their mix, while CPS Energy, San Antonio's municipal power company, was No. 8.
-- Jim Fuquay