10. Wind

E. Wind Energy in the U.S. Electricity Supply

Until 1970, facilities powered by wind were small, isolated, experimental, and/or disconnected from electric power networks. By the end of 1990, wind electric generation capacity in the United States had grown to 2,267 megawatts. In 1994, wind electric generation capacity dropped to 1,745 megawatts, largely because of the retirement of several wind turbines in California. The 1994 total was less than 2 percent of the total renewable electric generating capacity of 94,826 megawatts and less than 0.3 percent of U.S. total electric generating capacity in 1994. The American Wind Energy Association estimates that wind electric generation in the United States reached 3.5 billion kilowatthours in 1994, up more than 25 percent from 1992-1993, and double the output of the late 1980s. Among electric utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric is one of the largest purchasers of wind-generated electricity. That electricity is produced from 660 megawatts of nonutility-owned nameplate capacity.(8)

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