This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 29, 2006

Texas Rivals California for Wind Power in Latest AWEA Rankings

Photo of many wind turbines arranged in zigzag lines that recede into the distance.

FPL Energy's 278-megawatt King Mountain Wind Ranch is the largest wind power plant in Texas.
Credit: Todd Spink

When it comes to wind power in the United States, California has long been the king. But according to the latest annual wind industry rankings from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the Golden State may soon lose its crown to the Lone Star State. Texas gained 702 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity in 2005, for a total of 1,995 MW of wind power, while California gained only 54 MW, for a total of 2,150 MW. The new 210-MW Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center in Taylor County helped Texas gain on its west-coast rival. As another sign of the times, Xcel Energy—with operations in Minnesota, Colorado, and Texas—is the utility that bought the most wholesale wind power in 2005, stealing the lead from Southern California Edison. See the AWEA press release and for comparison, last year's press release on wind industry rankings.

Texas will gain another large wind power plant by early 2007. The Edison Mission Group acquired the 161-MW Wilderado Wind Ranch project near Amarillo from Cielo Wind Power, LP, in February, and the company expects construction to begin this spring. Meanwhile, We Energies has submitted an application to build a 203-MW wind project in Wisconsin, and Western Wind Energy is preparing to build a 15-MW wind plant in New Mexico. In terms of buying wind power, FirstEnergy Corporation—a utility serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey—is emerging as a new leader. In March, the company signed agreements to buy all the power from the 150-MW Mount Storm wind project and the 100-MW Liberty Gap wind project, both in West Virginia, as well as the 80-MW Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm in Pennsylvania. See the press releases from Edison, Wisconsin Energy, and Western Wind Energy, and the FirstEnergy press releases on its wind power purchases in West Virginia (PDF 26 KB) and Pennsylvania (PDF 17 KB). Download Adobe Reader.