You'll Never Guess Which State Has the Most Wind Energy

When it comes to wind energy, not all states are created equal. They say everything's bigger in Texas -- and for wind energy and rib-eye steak, they're right. Here's how Texas tops the list of wind energy producers.

Where's the wind?
Wind energy is making major moves in the United States. In 2012, wind accounted for 3.5% of U.S. electricity generation -- in 2013, that amount jumped to 4.1%. 

Improved technology by the likes of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE  ) , a supportive tax structure, and increasingly expensive alternatives are all causing utilities to take a closer look at how wind might work for them. With more than 10,200 net megawatts of wind energy, NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE  ) is the undisputed wind leader. 

NextEra Energy's 100 farms offset more than 25.5 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2013 alone -- but its investments aren't for everyone. A quick look at its wind facility map clearly shows how NextEra Energy prefers some states over others. 

Source: NextEra Energy, Inc. 

And it's not just NextEra Energy that's a picky producer. New data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that a whopping 80% of 2013 wind energy came from just 12 states. While the Midwest and West Coast easily take the cake for wind power, it's Texas that grabs gold.

Defending its 2012 top spot, the Lonestar State produced a massive 36 million megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity in 2013. Iowa placed second, but its 15 million MWh didn't hold a candle to Texas' capacity. 


NextEra Energy's own Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center churns out a collective 736 MW of wind energy, on par with the generation capacity of any coal-fired, natural gas, or nuclear power plant. To push out that much energy, the facility relies on a combination of massive General Electric Company and Siemens wind turbines. 

General Electric Company is the largest supplier of wind turbines in the U.S., and its research efforts have paid off for Texas. Since 2011, turbine costs have dropped 12%, but NextEra Energy was in on the effort long before then. Its 291 1.5 MW General Electric Company turbines and 139 2.5 MW Siemens turbines have been turning on Texas lights since 2006. 

Opportunity knocks
While Texas is often stereotyped as anti-Federalist separatist state (just ask Texans about their constitutional right to secede), some of the state's biggest additions came in December 2012 on the back of a subsidy shutdown scare. The U.S. government's lucrative Production Tax Credit was set to expire in 2013, and capacity additions soared in the final months of 2012. Of the 12,620 MW of total 2012 wind capacity expansion, the Lonestar State powered up an incredible 1,120 MW in December alone -- more than any other state. 

For the better part of the early 20th century, Texas made millions (and billions, and trillions) from gushing oil wells. Today, the state is tapping into the latest energy source around -- and it's proving to hold major profit potential. If the last 100 years is any evidence, Texas will continue to embrace any and all emerging energy sources -- and those wise enough to watch closely will see significant investing opportunities along the way.

OPEC's worst nightmare
Wind energy is disrupting Big Energy's status quo -- and it's not the only new thing in town. Imagine a company that rents a very specific and valuable piece of machinery for $41,000... per hour (that's almost as much as the average American makes in a year!). And Warren Buffett is so confident in this company's can't-live-without-it business model, he just loaded up on 8.8 million shares. An exclusive, brand-new Motley Fool report reveals the company we're calling OPEC's Worst Nightmare. Just click HERE to uncover the name of this industry-leading stock... and join Buffett in his quest for a veritable LANDSLIDE of profits!

Read/Post Comments (8) | Recommend This Article (7)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2014, at 9:52 AM, windlies wrote:

    There is one video that pretty much sums it up -

    Google: Esther Wrightman and Eagles nest in Ontario, Canada and paved paradise video.

    Next Error/ Next Terror/ Nest Terror

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  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2014, at 10:32 AM, windlies wrote:

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  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2014, at 2:25 PM, puravidacr10 wrote:

    I believe the greatest is Washington D.C. Nowhere on earth is so much hot air produced in such a small area.

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2014, at 5:14 PM, AdamGalas wrote:

    Thank you for bringing this company to my attention. I'm interested in alt energy companies but like dividends as well. It's rare to find a company satisfying both criteria.

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2014, at 6:52 PM, jaxon wrote:

    Guess which state kills the most birds with the blades of windmills and will have the biggest rodent and bug population due to their absence.

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2014, at 6:58 PM, bluedalek wrote:

    Of course Texas has the most Windmills, Texas economic engine does not follow 'Hope and change'.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2014, at 9:03 AM, mperiod wrote:

    bluedalek, their investment in wind mills was done so on the back of the Federal Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit whose extension was part of the stimulus bill and constantly attack by conservatives.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2014, at 1:42 PM, cosmo00011 wrote:

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