The U.S. saw 1,695 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity installed in the first quarter of 2012, finds the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). This brings the total installed wind power capacity to 48,611 MW.
The wind energy industry installed 52% more megawatts in the first quarter than it did the same quarter in 2011. Over 8,916 MW under-construction projects were also documented throughout 31 states and Puerto Rico.
As for project development hotspots, California (370 MW), Oregon (308 MW), Texas (254 MW), Washington (127 MW), and Pennsylvania (121 MW) were the leading states for adding the most wind power.
Several states were also forging ahead in 2012’s first quarter with projects in development. New Hampshire leads with 388% growth, followed by Arizona (72%), Massachusetts (17%), and Pennsylvania (15%). Wind power veteran Oregon rounded out the top five with 12%.
With ever-improving technology, wind power is penetrating geographic areas considered inadequate for turbines just a few years ago. According to Denise Bode, CEO of AWEA, “American wind power contributed 35% of all new electric generating capacity between 2007 and 2011.”