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Wind power hit important milestones in 2011

December 29, 2011 | 12:03 pm

The Buena Vista wind farm in the Diablo Range's Altamont Pass in Northern California

The American Wind Energy Assn. said U.S. wind power achieved several important milestones in 2011.

Among the accomplishments, two states — Iowa and South Dakota — were the first to get an average of 20% of their electrical power from wind energy, the AWEA said. The 20% threshold was first mentioned as an important standard in the Department of Energy's 2008 report, "20% Wind Energy by 2030."

The AWEA said Xcel Energy's utility in Colorado set a record on Oct. 6th when 55.6% of the electricity consumer by its 1 million customers was coming from wind energy. That broke a record of 53% that had been set in Spain in 2009, the AWEA said.

In terms of total power capacity, the AWEA said California ranks third in the nation, behind Texas and Iowa.

Also: Bird advocates seek mandatory wind power standards

Buffett investment could boost solar industry

Expanding wind projects irk some neighbors

— Ronald D. White

Photo: The Buena Vista wind farm in the Diablo Range's Altamont Pass in Northern California. The American Wind Energy Assn. says California ranks third in the nation in wind power capacity. Credit: Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times.