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US Investment In Wind Power Surges, With Texas Far In the Lead

The Lone Star State installed 37 percent of the nation’s new capacity in 2014, more than its four-biggest competitors put together.

 

A new study from the Department of Energy confirms U.S. investment in wind power rebounded in 2014 after dropping sharply the year before. More than a third of that new capacity is in Texas.

Texas added 1,811 MW worth of wind power capacity in 2014. That’s more electricity than the next four-largest wind states — Oklahoma, Iowa, Michigan and Nebraska — combined. It brings Texas’ total capacity for generating electricity from wind to 14,098 MW, roughly 9 percent of the state’s total power generating capacity.

“To give you a little bit of context, that 9 percent of the energy mix currently in Texas coming from wind, if you look back about ten years ago now, that figure would have been right around 1 percent,” says Ryan Wiser, a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and co-author of the report. “There’s no reason not to expect that similar growth wouldn’t be possible over the next 10 years as well.”

Wind power plants capable of generating an additional 6,800 MW of electricity are under construction in Texas and are due to come online by the end of 2016.

Wiser says the state needs to build out its transmission infrastructure to take full advantage of that extra capacity — in order to get that electric power from the windiest parts of Texas to some of the state’s biggest power customers.

 

 

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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