Nationally, Oklahoma Ranks Third in Wind-Generated Electricity ProductionFri, 20 Aug 2021 23:01:56 CDT
In Oklahoma, just as the hit song from the famous musical goes, wind comes sweeping down the plains. Therefore, it is no surprise to find Oklahoma ranking high - very high - on the list of wind-energy producing states in the U.S.
According to data offered by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2020, Oklahoma ranked third in the country for wind-generated electricity, producing more than 29,500 megawatts of electricity from wind-powered generators, also known as wind turbines.
Until 2020, Oklahoma used to rank second in the U.S. for wind-generated electricity, just after Texas who produces more than triples the megawattage Oklahoma does. Last year, with older technology - but more of it, Iowa bumped Oklahoma into third place, by just 4,577 megawatts of electricity.
In 2019, for the first time ever, wind turbines outperformed hydroelectric plants, according to the EIA. Both hydroelectric and wind generation follow seasonal patterns. Wind generation is usually greatest in the spring and fall, whereas hydroelectric generation is usually at its peak in spring when rain and melting snow increase water runoff. With much of the West experiencing exceptional drought conditions its no shock that hydroelectric plants are lagging.
Oklahoma may have more competition in the future though. Throwing wind-power another bone, the Biden Administration announced earlier this year “a bold set of actions that will catalyze offshore wind energy.” For land-locked Oklahoma, the next generation of turbine technology may not apply.
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