A new report from the U.S. Energy Department says that South Dakota in 2011 had the capacity to generate about 22 percent of its electricity from wind energy, ranking first among all states. Energy Secretary Steven Chu says that wind power represented 32 percent of all new electric capacity additions in the United States last year and accounted for $14 billion in new investment. The department says that the percentage of wind equipment made in America also increased dramatically. Nearly 70 percent of the wind turbines, towers, blades, gears and generators installed at U.S. wind farms last year come from domestic manufacturers, doubling from 35 percent in 2005. Aberdeen’s Molded Fiberglass and Knight and Carver in Howard are two South Dakota-based turbine blade manufacturers. The U.S. now has a total wind energy output of 49, 892 mega watts, and there are currently another 10,312 mega watts under construction in this country. Other top leading wind energy states include Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Minnesota, and California. One mega watt can supply 500 homes.
Photo Credit: John Vlahakis