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Wind power in Washington state

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Wind power in Washington state

With the completion of the initial phase of the Lower Snake River Wind Project in February, 2012, Washington has over 2,800 megawatts (MW) of wind power generation capacity. In 2011 6,209 million kilowatt-hours of electricity were generated from wind power in Washington.[1]

At the end of 2011, Washington had 2573 MW of installed wind power generating capacity[2] and was one of the top five states in terms of generating capacity.

State legislative support

Initiative 937 requires electric utilities with 25,000 or more customers to have 15 percent of their power supply generated from renewable resources by 2020. Washington state has sales tax exemptions for wind energy. Washington state provides utility grants, loans and rebates for wind power.[3]

Notable projects

Name Location Capacity (MW) Status Ref
Windy Point Wind Farm Klickitat County 400 Operational [4]
Wild Horse I Kittitas County 273 Operational [4]
Marengo Wind Farm Columbia County 211 Operational [4]
White Creek Wind Farm Klickitat County 205 Operational [4]
Big Horn Wind Farm Klickitat County 200 Operational [4]
Stateline Wind Farm Walla Walla County 177 Operational [4]
Hopkins Ridge Wind Farm Columbia County 385 Operational [5]
Lower Snake River Wind Project Garfield County 342.7 Operational [4]



While originally estimated to have nearly 4,000 megawatts of potential onshore capacity by the American Wind Energy Association, a comprehensive update of the wind energy potential by state released in 2010 by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory showed that Washington has potential to install over 18,000 megawatts of onshore wind power.[6]

Washington ranks 24th in its potential for onshore wind generation,[7] but has the potential to install 120,964 MW of offshore wind farms, capable of generating 488,025 GWh/year.[8]


Installed wind power capacity in Washington has seen strong growth in recent years and Washington now ranks among the top ten states with the most wind power installed. Wind power accounted for 5.3% of total electricity generated in Washington during 2011.[9]

The table below shows the growth in wind power installed nameplate capacity in MW for Washington since 1999.[10]

Wind generation

Washington Wind Generation in 2011

ImageSize = width:360 height:240 PlotArea = width:300 height:170 left:40 bottom:40 AlignBars = late

DateFormat = x.y Period = from:0 till:750 TimeAxis = orientation:vertical ScaleMajor = unit:month increment:100 start:0

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 pos:(5,240) textcolor:black fontsize:M
 pos:(175,25) textcolor:black fontsize:S


color:skyblue width:20
bar:Jan from:start till:514
bar:Feb from:start till:491
bar:Mar from:start till:513
bar:Apr from:start till:733
bar:May from:start till:555
bar:Jun from:start till:619
bar:Jul from:start till:506
bar:Aug from:start till:546
bar:Sept from:start till:367
bar:Oct from:start till:497
bar:Nov from:start till:499
bar:Dec from:start till:358

Washington Wind Generation (GWh, Million kWh)
Year Total Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2009 3,572 321 164 428 329 329 343 235 335 282 307 334 161
2010 4,745 239 146 404 608 512 491 401 447 361 348 402 329
2011 6,209 514 491 513 733 555 619 506 546 367 497 499 358
2012 575 518 773 612 676 711 461 476 325 528 386


See also


External links

  • Northwest Wind Industry Alliance (NWIA) official webpage
  • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in Washington
  • U.S. Wind Energy Projects - Washington
  • Washington Wind Activities
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