Energy Northwest owns and operates the Nine Canyon Wind Project, south of Kennewick, Wash. The project’s 63 wind turbines have a maximum output of 95.9 megawatts of electric power.
Power From the Wind
In 2009, wind machines in the U.S. generated more than 52 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, nearly 1.5 percent of total U.S. electricity generation. Although this is a small fraction of the nation's total electricity production, it was enough electricity to serve five million households or enough electricity to power the entire state of Colorado.
The amount of electricity generated from wind has grown rapidly in recent years. Generation from wind power in the U.S. nearly doubled between 2006 and 2008.
New technologies have decreased the cost of producing electricity from wind. At the same time, growth in wind power has been encouraged by state and federal tax benefits for renewable energy development. Many utilities today offer “green pricing” options that give customers an option to buy electricity from renewable sources.
Wind is a clean fuel; wind turbines produce no air or water pollution because no fuel is burned to generate electricity. Growing concern about emissions from fossil fuel generation, increased government support, Energy Department loan guarantees and federal Production Tax Credits have helped wind power capacity in the U.S. grow substantially during the past 10 years.