with the first commercial wind farms in the U.S. in the early 1980s,
wind power has proven to be a reliable source of clean, economically
viable domestic energy.
As technology has improved, wind energy gradually has become one of the
least cost sources of power, and is now one of the fastest growing
sources of electricity in the U.S. The plentiful, high quality wind
resource in North America is already playing an important role in
creating grid-scale alternatives to carbon intensive sources of power
and will one day play a large role in reducing our reliance on foreign
sources of oil for transportation. With potential wind
estimated to be in excess of 8000 GW of capacity (a typical nuclear
power plant offers roughly 1 GW of capacity), the U.S. is on its way to
meeting a large portion of its electricity needs with wind power.
Wind power development has brought economic prosperity and renewed
vitality to many communities throughout the United States, providing
jobs, landowner revenues, and taxes that have contributed significantly
to the quality of life in counties and towns from Maine to California.
Wind farms provide landowners with a new, reliable, long term
revenue stream, but typically occupy only 2%-3% of the surface area of
the entire project site, while using almost no water. And wind farms
are compatible with other land uses such as ranching, farming, oil
& gas development, hunting, and most recreational activities.
North America: Rich in Wind
The exhibit below shows the existing wind power capacity in Megawatts
(MW) in the US and Canada. Each MW can power roughly 250 to 300 homes.
Every MW of wind power we install:
Powers almost 300 homes
Is equivalent to taking 315 cars off the road
Avoids the release of 1,800 tons of CO2 per year
Eliminates roughly 9 tons of SO2 — a leading cause of acid rain