Wind power in California

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California wind resources

Wind power in California had initiative and early development during Governor Jerry Brown's first two terms in the late 1970s and early 1980s. [1] [2] The state's wind power capacity has grown by nearly 350% since 2001, when it was less than 1,700 MW. [3] [4] In 2016, wind energy (including that supplied by other states) supplied about 6.9% of California's total electricity needs, or enough to power more than 1.3 million households. [5] Most of California's wind generation is found in the Tehachapi area of Kern County, California, with some large projects in Solano, Contra Costa and Riverside counties as well. California is among the states with the largest amount of installed wind power capacity. [3] In recent years, California has lagged behind other states when it comes to the installation of wind power. It was ranked 4th overall for wind power electrical generation at the end of 2016 behind Texas, Iowa, and Oklahoma. As of 2019, California had 5,973 megawatts (MW) of wind power generating capacity installed.

History

California was the first U.S. state where large wind farms were developed, beginning in the early 1980s. [6] By 1995, California produced 30 percent of the entire world's wind-generated electricity. [7] Wind power in Texas surpassed the production in California to become the leader in the United States.

Historically, most of California's wind power output has been in three primary regions: Altamont Pass wind farm (east of San Francisco); Tehachapi Pass wind farm (south east of Bakersfield) and San Gorgonio Pass wind farm (near Palm Springs, east of Los Angeles). [7] A fourth area, the Montezuma Hills of Solano County, was developed in 2005–2009, with the large Shiloh wind power plant.

The Alta Wind Energy Center is a wind farm located in Tehachapi Pass in Kern County. [8] Kern County is reviewing a number of other proposed wind projects that would generate a combined 4,600 megawatts of renewable energy if approved. [9][ needs update]

The majority of the San Gorgonio Pass wind farm as viewed from the San Jacinto Mountains to the south. (The farm continues over the hills to the north along California State Route 62 and is not visible from this vantagepoint). The layout includes a variety of large modern and older smaller turbine designs

Growth

California wind generation capacity by year California wind generation by year
Megawatts of wind capacity,
1999-2020 [15] [16]
Gigawatt-hours generated per year,
2001-2020 [17]

In 2011, 921.3 megawatts of new production was installed. Most of that activity occurred in the Tehachapi area of Kern County, with some big projects in Solano, Contra Costa and Riverside counties as well. [18] [19] [20]

California had a total of 5,662 megawatts of installed wind generation capacity at the end of 2015. [21] After leading the country for many years, California ranked fourth nationwide in terms of capacity, behind Texas, Iowa, and Oklahoma in 2016. [22] [23] [21] In 2016, California used about 285,700 GWh [24] and generated 13,500 GWh of wind energy in state. [25]

Wind energy supplied about 6.9% of California's total electricity needs in 2017 (including power supplied from other states in this case), [5] and 7.35% in 2019. By the end of 2019, installed wind generation capacity increased to 5,973 megawatts. [26]

Due to higher average winds in the plains area of the U.S., California ranked fifth in wind generation in 2018. [27]

In January 2018, the Tule Wind Project came online. Located in eastern San Diego County, the facility has 57 wind turbines which collectively generate 131.1 megawatts of electricity. There are plans to expand this project by an additional 24 turbines in the future. [14] In its current configuration, the installation is able to power an estimated 40,000 homes. [28] CAISO tested the wind farm's synchronverter in 2018, and found it could perform some of the grid services similar or better than traditional generators. [29] [30]

In February 2018, Scout Clean Energy of Colorado won the rights to modernize the Gonzaga Ridge wind farm which is located in Pacheco State Park. Rated at 16.5 megawatts, the Gonzaga Ridge facility currently uses 1980s era wind turbines which are smaller, less cost-effective, and overall far less efficient at generating energy than those which currently being produced. The electrical output of Gonzaga Ridge after modernization is projected to be between 65 MW and 80 MW. [31][ needs update]

Offshore wind potential

A 2009 Stanford University study of California offshore wind potential identified a site off Cape Mendocino that could provide uninterrupted year-round power from a 1500 MW wind farm that would produce an average of 790 MW. Three types of offshore wind power were studied, with the conclusion that from 12,300 to 19,700 GWh/yr could be delivered from 1,997 to 3,331 MW of monopile wind turbines installed in up to 20 meter deep water, from 38,200 to 73,000 GWh/yr could be delivered from 6,202 to 12,374 MW of multi-leg wind turbines in 20 to 50 meter deep water, and from 462,100 to 568,200 GWh/yr from 73,025 to 91,707 MW of floating turbine foundation wind turbines in from 50 to 200 meter deep water, [32] such as those being studied for use off the coast of Maine by the Ocean Energy Institute and the DeepCwind Consortium. [33]

In April 2018, several power development companies joined with Redwood Coast Energy Authority to explore the idea of creating a large-scale wind farm off of the Northern California coast. One problem that has hindered development in the area off the coast of Humboldt County is the deep water, making the use floating turbines more feasible than fixed turbines. The group decided to propose instead. RCEA and the development companies intend to file a lease with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in the summer of 2018 for the 120-150 MW project. [34] The Humboldt Project will be located just over 20 miles west of Eureka, California and estimates have the date of completion to be sometime in 2024. [35] In May 2022, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued a statement of no significant environmental impact. [36]

Annual generation

California electricity generation sources in 2018.
California wind generation (GWh)
Year Total Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2001 3,499 133 148 300 393 378 438 440 408 293 253 143 172
2002 3,800 131 153 267 409 478 557 443 476 295 284 158 149
2003 3,896 109 193 326 424 453 549 432 396 340 285 188 201
2004 4,305 130 201 288 399 634 683 588 492 359 259 155 117
2005 4,261 175 150 334 429 551 584 497 384 404 322 217 214
2006 4,883 281 215 389 430 577 596 538 500 402 396 292 267
2007 5,586 233 307 442 612 732 729 675 600 486 349 188 233
2008 5,385 271 262 450 538 691 658 700 648 406 298 223 240
2009 5,840 150 245 442 603 701 850 879 679 480 406 235 170
2010 6,080 150 221 399 546 689 867 925 731 551 372 305 324
2011 7,749 234 429 612 960 1,026 1,021 869 908 522 415 428 325
2012 9,754 419 581 769 768 1,316 1,362 1,001 1,001 697 776 385 679
2013 12,820 482 727 1,056 1,550 1,740 1,631 1,413 1,297 1,158 750 556 460
2014 12,993 500 831 1,055 1,306 1,766 1,858 1,408 1,286 953 759 705 566
2015 12,229 187 619 826 1,262 1,681 1,668 1,445 1,523 815 667 619 917
2016 13,508 691 528 1,305 1,325 1,596 1,670 1,697 1,472 996 935 528 765
2017 12,824 815 751 954 1,212 1,644 1,638 1,417 1,642 1,217 839 452 243
2018 14,025 424 887 1,060 1,234 1,929 1,784 1,565 1,645 1,259 1,029 639 570
2019 13,736 537 1,054 1,091 1,475 1,838 1,564 1,674 1,469 1,210 877 467 480
2020 13,582 763 780 1,131 1,521 1,553 1,722 1,691 1,440 797 868 664 652
2021 15,628 1,065 1,041 1,590 1,645 1,676 1,336 1,093 1,331 1,011 1,268 1,187 1,385
2022 3,942 1,187 1,204 1,551

Source: [17]

See also

References

  1. ^ "U.S. wind energy grows in California, then stagnates nationwide in the 1980s". American Wind Energy Association. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  2. ^ Hochschild, David (March 21, 2017). "Don't let wind energy stall". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "WINDExchange: Installed Wind Capacity". energy.gov. U.S. Department of Energy. February 17, 2016. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  4. ^ "AWEA 4th quarter 2012 Public Market Report" (PDF). American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). January 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 18, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "California Wind Energy" (PDF). U.S. Wind Energy State Facts. American Wind Energy Association. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  6. ^ "Wind Energy in California" (PDF). American Wind Energy Association. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Overview of Wind Energy in California". California Energy Commission. Archived from the original on January 18, 2017.
  8. ^ "World's Largest Wind Project is Underway". RenewableEnergyWorld.com. July 29, 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  9. ^ "California's largest wind power projects has been approved by Kern County". REVE. December 17, 2009. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c "U.S. Wind Energy Projects – California". American Wind Energy Association. July 2010. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
  11. ^ "Alta Wind Energy Center is the nation's largest wind facility". CA.gov. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  12. ^ "Ocotillo Express Wind Energy Project". U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management. September 10, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  13. ^ "Shiloh I Wind". EDF Renewable Energy. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  14. ^ a b Nikolewski, Rob (January 25, 2018). "Tule Wind Farm now producing electricity". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  15. ^ WINDExchange: U.S. Installed and Potential Wind Capacity and Generation
  16. ^ "Market Report 2021". American Clean Power Association. May 17, 2022. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  17. ^ a b "Electricity Data Browser". U.S. Department of Energy. March 28, 2018. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  18. ^ "Five Percent of California's Energy Supply Now Comes From Wind" (PDF). California Wind Energy Assn. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
  19. ^ Dickerson, Marla (January 31, 2012). "Wind power blowing up in California". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  20. ^ 2012 Third Quarter Market Report, American Wind Energy Association
  21. ^ a b "AWEA Fourth Quarter 2016 Market Report Public Version". American Wind Energy Association. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  22. ^ "Wind Energy Facilities Installed Capacity Ranked by State/Territory". Official Nebraska Government Website. 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  23. ^ Osborn-Mills, Danielle (May 22, 2017). "California is falling behind in producing wind power". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  24. ^ "Electricity Consumption by County". California Energy Commission.
  25. ^ "Total System Electric Generation". California Energy Commission.
  26. ^ "Wind Energy in California". WINDExchange. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  27. ^ "EIA - Electricity Data". www.eia.gov. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  28. ^ Gibbins, John (2018). "East county wind farm going strong". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  29. ^ Balaraman, Kavya (March 13, 2020). "Wind plants can provide grid services similar to gas, hydro, easing renewables integration: CAISO". Utility Dive.{{ cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status ( link)
  30. ^ Tuel Wind Power Plant Test Results CAISO, 2019
  31. ^ Froese, Michelle (February 5, 2018). "Quinbrook to repower California wind farm". Windpower Engineering and Development.
  32. ^ California offshore wind energy potential
  33. ^ "Ocean Energy Institute". 2008. Retrieved December 15, 2008.
  34. ^ Reuters Editorial. "Group pursuing floating wind farm off California coast". U.S. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  35. ^ "California Chooses Floating Offshore Wind Technology". The Marine Executive. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  36. ^ "BOEM completes California offshore environmental study". reNEWS - Renewable Energy News. May 6, 2022.

External links