Wind energy projects totaling 5,662 megawatts (MW) of capacity are operating in California today,1 providing enough electricity to power more than 2 million California households.2 This represents more than a tripling of wind energy capacity since California's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) law was adopted in 2002.
In 2015, California wind projects generated 12,180 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity – 6.2% of all power generated within California.3 In the same year, out-of-state wind projects generated 11,927 GWh of electricity for California, representing 12.0% of total power imports.3 Combined, wind projects supplied 8.2% of California’s total system power,3 enough to power all homes in Sacramento, Santa Clara, and San Diego Counties combined.2
Wind energy accounted for 39% of California’s renewable energy production for the RPS as of 2016.4 (See figure below.)
Generating wind power creates no emissions and uses virtually no water:
- The water consumption savings from wind projects in California total more than 3.4 billion gallons of water per year1
- The wind power installed in California will avoid over 7.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the equivalent of taking 1.7 million cars off the road1
|Major Wind Development Areas in California5 (View Map)||# MW||# Wind Turbines|
|Altamont Pass (Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin Counties)||510||4,029|
|San Gorgonio Pass (Riverside County)||683||2,159|
|Tehachapi Pass (Kern County)||3,236||4,731|
|San Diego County||52||26|
- American Wind Energy Association. (Data as of Q3 2016)
- Calculated by CalWEA based on California Energy Commission data.
- California Energy Commission, Energy Almanac, Total Electricity System Power (2015).
- CEC, Tracking Progress - Renewable Energy, Rev. 12/22/16
- American Wind Energy Association. (Data as of December 2014) Updated January 2016.