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California on top with $2 billion in wind power investment

April 10, 2012|By Ronald D. White | Times Staff Writer
  • New turbines were installed at this wind farm in California's Tehachapi Pass in 2011, part of the $2 billion invested in wind energy in the state last year.
New turbines were installed at this wind farm in California's Tehachapi… (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles…)

On Thursday, the Annual Market Report from the American Wind Energy Assn. (AWEA) will show that California was first in the nation in new wind power installations in 2011 with more than $2 billion in investments.

The AWEA report will highlight data on industry jobs, manufacturing, and installed wind capacity across the U.S.

Wind is the nation's fastest growing source of non-hydroelectric renewable power generation, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

In 2011, California added more wind power than any state, according to the advocacy group Environment California, and the wind industry in California now regularly employs between 4,000 and 5,000 workers.

Wind energy now supplies about 5% of California’s total electricity needs, or enough to power more than 400,000 households.

The AWEA said that California installed 921 megawatts of wind power in 2011. That represents more than 13.5% of the 6,810 megawatts of wind power installed throughout the U.S. last year.

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