U.S. wind industry adds 6,800 MW in 2011

The U.S. wind industry installed 6,816 megawatts (MW) in 2011, 31 percent higher than 2010, for a total
of 46,916 MW installed to date, the industry's trade group said in a release Thursday.
    Setting the stage for a strong 2012, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) also said there were more than 8,300 MW of wind power under construction across the United States.
    The nation has about one million megawatts of generating capacity with about 400,000 MW coming from natural gas burning plants, 300,000 MW from coal, 100,000 MW from nuclear, 80,000 MW from hydropower, 50,000 MW from oil and the rest mostly from wind and other renewables.
    One megawatt powers about 1,000 homes.
    Wind and natural gas are the two largest sources of new generating capacity in the United States. Wind has provided about 35 percent of new U.S. power capacity over the past five years, AWEA said.

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