High Plains States among Top in Wind Production

Aug 7, 2013

Wind turbines near Woodward, Okla.
Credit Logan Layden/StateImpact Oklahoma

Texas remains on top of the nation in total wind energy produced in 2012, while Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado are not far behind, according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Additions to each state's wind generation capacity last year are keeping the four plains states in the top ten of wind energy producers, as indicated by the DOE's Wind Technologies Market Report.

Texas produces over 12 megawatts of electricity from wind energy each year, over twice as much as any other state.  Kansas is third in the nation in percentage of energy produced from wind, at over 20%.  Oklahoma and Colorado are fifth and sixth in the nation, at 14% and 13%, respectively.  Texas' energy generation from wind falls just over 8%.

In terms of raw numbers, Oklahoma produces just over 3.1 megawatts of wind energy, Kansas 2.7 MW, and Colorado 2.3 MW.

The report warns of factors which may curtail wind energy growth in the future, including a lack of clarity about the fate of Federal tax incentives for wind energy development, as well as low fossil fuel prices, modest growth in demand for electricity, states' Renewable Portfolio Standard policies, and inadequate transmission infrastructure.