Texas retains its lead in US wind capacity additions, according to the Department of Energy’s 2017 Wind Technologies Market report. The state recorded 2,305 megawatts additions while Iowa claimed the highest wind energy generation share with 36.9%.
In 2017, new wind farms installed in the US produced a total of 7,017 megawatts, increasing the total power from wind farms to 88,973 megawatts. Texas led the capacity with installed 2,305 megawatts new wind farms, followed by the states sitting at its north; Oklahoma that installed 851 megawatts, Kansas installed 659 megawatts and the western neighbor New Mexico that installed 570 megawatts.
Texas now generates a total of 22,599 megawatts from wind farms as of 2017 ending, marking the state as the market leader, while Oklahoma and Iowa are rated second and third generating 7,495 megawatts and 7,308 megawatts from wind turbines, respectively.
Last year, the US generated 6.3% of its electricity supply from operational wind turbines and a 10% wind energy penetration as a fraction of in-state generation was exceeded by 14 states. Iowa was ranked first, with wind turbines supplying 36.9% of its electricity. Kansas followed up closely with 36%, while Oklahoma (31.9%) and South Dakota (30.1%) followed up among top states generating electricity from wind parks.
Texas will continue to lead US wind energy
While wind is behind solar and natural gas as the largest source of energy, it represents 25% of the newly installed renewable energy in the US last year, with a capital investment of USD 11 billion. According to the Houston Chronicle, Spanish utility Iberdrola recently disclosed its plans to invest $1 billion in new wind projects in Texas. New wind farms proposed for funding by the utility firm will generate a total of 700 megawatts, a capacity that could power about 140,000 homes in Texas at peak performance.
A 33,000-megawatt capacity wind farm currently under development in Texas is considered as part of the project. Iberdrola already has 725 megawatts generated from wind farms in Texas. It had invested those through its subsidiaries in America: Avangrid renewable in Oregon, Orange, and Connecticut. The utility firm has its largest wind farm in Kenedy County; the 606 megawatts STC wind farm.
Texas prefers to build wind farms onshore
Offshore wind farms will not likely make any breakthroughs in Texas. The state is largely focused on its onshore wind sector, dominantly on its western plain. A statement by Iberdrola CEO Ignacio Galán opines that more projects will be focusing onshore. He disclosed that Texas still has “plenty of onshore resources” which could cost less than onshore projects to develop. IEA also said that offshore wind farm projects would cost three times more than onshore projects.
The US is not following Europe’s investments in offshore wind farms, largely because it’s more expensive to build offshore. It’s not only cheaper to build onshore wind farms because the equipment is more available but also easier to transport and to recruit workers, said Wood Mackenzie Anthony Logan.