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Best, worst ranked states for wind power

Humans have harnessed the power of the wind for thousands of years but only recently have seen utility-scale wind power proliferate as a low-cost, no-carbon electricity source.  The United States, specifically, has seen its wind power capacity grow 30 percent over the past decade.

To shed light on which states are contributing the most to wind energy’s growth, the American Wind Energy Association has released its updated rankings of utility-scale wind capacity each state.  Which states are propelling their way to a clean energy future? And, which have yet to tap into the renewable resource? Read on to find out:

Best States for Wind in 2018

Texas

When it comes to wind power, Texas is in a league of its own, producing enough energy to supply the needs of more than 6 million homes. With over 23,000 megawatts of installed capacity and 5,554 more under construction, it doesn’t look like the Lone Star State is going to fall from the top spot anytime soon. The next ranked state, Oklahoma, would have to triple its capacity just to keep pace.

Oklahoma

That said, Texas’s neighbor is no slouch when it comes to championing wind power. The state has installed approximately 7,500 MW so far, with about 2,000 more on the way. However, it remains to be seen whether state lawmakers will end the incentives that made Oklahoma so attractive to wind energy developers in the first place.

Iowa

Iowa has invested more than any other state except for Texas in the wind industry – and that investment is clearly paying off. Ranked third by the AWEA, the wind energy produced in Iowa could power the equivalent of nearly 2 million homes. And with 1,984 MW on the way, Iowa could soon overtake Oklahoma for the #2 spot.

California

The top state for solar power appears to have a backup plan – wind. California is the only state to make the top 5 lists for both renewable energy sources, solidifying its commitment to a clean energy future. It’s close behind Iowa with installed wind projects (104) and only falls behind Texas in terms of the number of wind turbines erected (6,972).

Kansas

While currently ranked fifth with more than 5,100 MW installed, Kansas is recommitting to wind energy generation in 2018. The AWEA reports the Sunflower State currently has 740 MW in the pipeline – up from 0 in 2017.

Worst States for Wind

The South

As a region, the South has a lot of catching up to do, especially when compared to its western neighbors.  The following states have 0 MW of wind power capacity installed:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia

Arkansas, however, shows some potential to rise above the rest – with one project currently online, it has 180 MW of capacity under construction.   That would catapult it up to the 33rd spot next year if current numbers hold steady.

As for Washington D.C., which also has 0 installed capacity, the future of wind remains up in the air.