Fast Facts about California Wind Energy

Wind energy projects totaling at least 5,535 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 2018, California wind projects generated 14,078 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity – 7.2% of all power generated within California.3 In 2018, out-of-state wind projects generated 18,633 GWh of electricity for California, representing  21% of total power imports.3 Combined, wind projects supplied over 11.5% of California’s total system power,3 more than enough to power all homes in Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles Counties combined.2

Wind energy accounted for 29% of California’s renewable energy production for the RPS as of 2018.4 (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 California1 (View Map)# MW
Altamont Pass (Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin Counties)330
Imperial County264
Pacheco Pass (Santa Clara County)17
San Diego County181
San Gorgonio Pass (Riverside County)655
Shasta County101
Solano County1,028
Tehachapi Pass (Kern County)2,925
Commercial & Industrial Installations Statewide34



  1. Data compiled by CalWEA from the U.S. Wind Turbine Database.  See (accessed on March 3, 2019).  Note that the U.S. Wind Turbine Database does not include capacity data for some pre-1990 wind projects, which could add a few hundred megawatts.
  2. Calculated by CalWEA based on California Energy Commission data.  (See and footnote 3.)

  3. California Energy Commission, Energy Almanac, Total System Electric Generation (2018).  (See
  4. CEC, Tracking Progress - Renewable Energy, Rev. Dec. 2018.