Texas continues to rule the roost in Installed Wind Power Capacity while California remains by far the top-ranked state in Installed Solar Power Capacity, according to Business Facilities‘ 14th Annual Rankings Report, released this week.
The Lone Star State has nearly three times as much wind power capacity as its closest competitor; Oklahoma surpassed Iowa in the fourth quarter of 2017 to rank second in the nation for total installed wind capacity, as wind-turbine generated electricity continues to gain favor throughout the U.S. wind corridor from Texas to the Dakotas. Texas would rank sixth in the world in wind power if it were a country.
“For nearly a century, Texas has been synonymous with Big Oil—which makes its determination to dominate renewable energy all the more impressive,” said BF Editor in Chief Jack Rogers. “By building a $7-billion wind-power transmission grid in West Texas, the Lone Star State has made it clear that it intends to ride the wind to future prosperity.”
As of the end of 2017, there has been a total of 89,077 megawatts (MW) of wind power installed across 41 states, enough to power 26 million American homes. The U.S. wind power industry closed 2017 strong, delivering 7,017 MW of new wind power capacity representing $11 billion in new private investment, according to the U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2017 Market Report. Twenty-nine new wind farms totaling 4,125 MW came online across 16 states in the fourth quarter.
These positive trends for the wind industry will continue throughout 2018: the pipeline of wind farms under construction or in advanced development as of the end of 2017 totaled 28,668 MW, a 34-percent increase compared to the end of 2016.
California has topped BF’s Installed Solar Power Capacity category every year since its creation; the Golden State maintained its commanding lead in our 14th annual rankings report, with more than three times the amount of installed capacity as second-place North Carolina.
California also dominated BF’s new Solar Power Employment ranking. With nearly 90,000 jobs related to the solar energy industry, CA is close to having more solar power jobs than all of the other top-10 players combined. The top five in solar power employment is filled out by Massachusetts (11,539), New York (9,012), Texas (8,873) and Florida (8,589).
Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years.