Category Archives: Current Events: Energy

Wind Power Sets New U.S. Record For Electricity Supply

Wind Power Sets New U.S. Record For Electricity Supply

On February 12, 2017, wind power in the U.S. set a new record for a brief moment on this day, powering more than 50% of the electricity on the electric grid. The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) was the company to announce this, which manages the electricity flow on a grid across Montana and North Dakota, to New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana, among others.

 

wind power farm
Gray County Wind Farm in Montezuma, Kansas. Source: http://www.kansastravel.org/graycountywindfarm.htm

 

According to SPP, the amount of wind energy that powered the grid in this area came in at 52.1%, beating its previous record of 49.2% in April 2016. For the SPP, wind generation is currently the third largest source of electricity for this area, producing over 16,000 MW. This generation of wind power has come a long way since the year 2000, where the SPP accessing less than 400 MW for the grid. 

 

SPP manages high-voltage transmission lines that spread 60,000 miles across 14 states in the Central U.S., including the ones mentioned above. Not only has the SPP hit this record, but the more than 50% of electricity generated by wind on the grid hits a U.S. record as well.   

 

Fast Facts About Wind Power

  • Wind energy is made by turbines with propellers that are connected to generators
  • Number of U.S. states operating wind power utility projects: 40
  • The U.S. has 73,992 MW of installed wind capacity (as of the end of 2015)
  • Equivalent number of U.S. homes powered by wind energy every year with current installed capacity: 20 million
  • In 2015, Iowa generated the most electricity in the U.S. with wind power (30%)
  • In 2015, Texas was the top U.S. state with wind energy jobs, topping 24,000
  • According to the Department of Labor, the fastest growing job in the U.S. is a wind turbine technician 
  • A single 1MW turbine on land can power up to 300 homes
  • A single 1MW turbine offshore can power more than 400 homes

 

Wind Power Benefits

  • Reduced CO2 emissions by 125 milloin metric tons so far!
  • In 2014, wind generation reduced water consumption by 68 billion gallons of water
  • On average, wind power today will avoid 1,500 pounds of CO2 for every 1 MWh of wind generation
  • Wind power has generated 88,000 U.S. jobs as of January 2016
  • Drought-resistant cash crop for farm owners (Land owners on average can make $222 million a year (as of January 2016) on lease payments for the implementation of wind farms on their property

 

Sources:

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/wind-briefly-sets-record-electricity-us-21173

Interesting Wind Energy Facts

http://www.awea.org/wind-energy-facts-at-a-glance

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