California led U.S. in new wind for 2011

The American Wind Energy Association said the industry remained strong in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The American Wind Energy Association said the industry remained strong in the fourth quarter of 2011.

California installed 921 megawatts of new wind generation capacity in 2011, the most of any state.

Illinois ranked second with 692 megawatts and Iowa was third with 646 megawatts, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

The group’s report said California kept its overall No. 3 spot on the list of states with the most wind power overall last year. Texas and Iowa also held onto their No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively. Illinois, however, boosted by the 692 megawatts installed in 2011, knocked Minnesota out of the No. 4 place.

Oregon ranked No. 7 with 2,513 megawatts. Washington ranked No. 6 with 2,573 megawatts.

The AWEA said 30 states completed wind projects in 2011, and construction is going on right now for projects in 31 states, including the first such projects in Nevada, Connecticut and Puerto Rico.

Kansas tops the list of states with the most wind power construction — some 663 turbines are being built there. California ranks No. 3 on that list, too.

“In hard economic times we’re creating jobs and delivering clean, affordable electricity,” said AWEA’s CEO, Denise Bode.

The looming expiration of the Production Tax Credit is causing heartburn for many companies in the wind industry.

Read more details in AWEA’s fourth quarter wind power market report.

From the San Francisco Business Times.

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