Wind energy now supplies about 5% of California’s total electricity needs, or enough to power more than 400,000 households.
That’s the word from the California Wind Energy Assn., which said that California put up more new turbines than any state last year, with 921.3 megawatts installed. Most of that activity occurred in the Tehachapi area of Kern County, with some big projects in Solano, Contra Costa and Riverside counties as well.
“The total amount of wind energy installations in 2011 created a banner year for wind generation in California and is helping to drive California closer to reaching its goal of 33% renewable energy,” said Nancy Rader, executive director of the California Wind Energy Assn.
Wind capacity in the Golden State has doubled since 2002. With a total of nearly 4,000 megawatts installed, California now ranks third nationwide, behind Texas and Iowa.