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Innovation

Watch the U.S. wind farm boom unfold

The U.S. Department of Energy has released an interactive map that illustrates the explosion of wind farms over the past decade.
Written by Kirsten Korosec, Contributor on
At the turn of a new century, 97 wind farms--mostly in California and the Midwest--were up and running in the United States. At the time, the wind farms produced enough enlectricity to power 592,000 homes.
interactive map-wind farms-2000.jpg

Within four years, the number more than doubled to 202 wind farms. It doubled again over the following four years. And then doubled again. By 2012 (see below), there were 815 wind farms in the U.S. producing enough electricity to power 15 million homes.
interactive map-wind farms.jpg

You can watch the U.S. wind farm boom unfold with the federal government's newest interactive map.
A few takeaways from the data:
  • Initial development was in California. It later spread to the western borders of Minnesota and Iowa and by the late '90s several wind farms were popping up in Wisconsin, near Green Bay.
  • Texas went from a state with just one wind farm in 1997 to having a dozen just five years later. The real boom hit Texas between 2005 and 2010.
  • The majority of U.S. states have at least one wind farm. That is, except for one large hole in the southern states. As of 2012, the last year data is available for this map, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas, South Carolina and North Carolina did not have any wind farms.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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