The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Washington, D.C., said the U.S. wind industry's fourth-quarter results show that wind power is taking hold in new states like Ohio and Nevada while doubling down on installations in existing strong wind markets in California, Illinois, Iowa and Kansas.

Illinois was a very strong performer in 2011, clocking in as No. 2 for installations in the last year and rising to No. 4 in wind power overall (the only mover in the overall top 10). Kansas tops the under construction list with more than 1,188MW of wind scheduled to come on line in 2012. Ohio was the nation's fastest-growing state in wind power for 2011. Overall, the U.S. wind industry installed just over 6,810MW in 2011, 31 percent higher than 2010, and has more than 8,300 MW under construction, setting the stage for a strong 2012.

While California topped the list for megawatts installed in 2011 with 921MW, Illinois also had a very strong 2011, coming in with the second most megawatts installed for the year and rising to No. 4 on the overall list. Other traditional stalwarts like Iowa, Minnesota and Oklahoma rounded out the top five. Ohio came in as the fastest-growing wind power state in 2011 with 101MW installed, leading to a more than 900% growth rate. Meanwhile, South Dakota joined Iowa as the states receiving the highest percentage of their electricity from wind with 20%. Overall, 30 states brought wind projects online in 2011 and construction is ongoing for 2012 projects in 31 states, including the first wind projects in Nevada, Connecticut and Puerto Rico.

Most Wind Power Capacity Installed in 2011

Ranking State Capacity (MW)
1 California 921.3
2 Illinois 692.5
3 Iowa 646.7
4 Minnesota 541.9
5 Oklahoma 525

Source: American Wind Energy Association