The U.S. Department of Energy has released an interactive map that shows the rapid growth of wind farms in the United States. The map begins with the first wind farm established in the U.S., going on-line in Southern California in 1975. Twenty years later and you can see 54 wind farms across the country, but mostly in California. Those 54 wind farms produced enough electricity to power nearly 350,000 homes. The interactive map moves along to show that by 1999, wind farms had popped up throughout the Midwest, and by 2012 there were more than 49,000 wind farms in 39 different states as well as in Puerto Rico. Those wind farms produce enough electricity to power around 15 million homes.
In 2012, wind energy made up 3% of total U.S. electric power generation, (about 60,000 megawatts.) The growth in wind energy that is projected by 2015 is substantial. It is estimated that in three years time, wind energy will jump to 4.6% of U.S. electric power generation, totaling 77,000 megawatts of wind power capacity. To put it in perspective, just 1 megawatt of wind power is enough energy to provide electricity to roughly 300 homes. (Bobby Magill, Green Tech Media.)
Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey are using the interactive maps to aide in the assessment of the environmental impacts of wind farms nationally. We all know that turbines help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and are a valuable source of renewable energy, but additional studies need to take place to see what other implications are possible with the increasing number of wind farms across the country.
Learn more about the power of wind energy and possible green energy solutions for your business from one of our experts at Worldwide Energy, 913.310.0705.
Source: Green Tech Media