Topeka Kansas is among the leading states in development of wind energy, a new industry report said Thursday.
Nationwide, the wind energy industry continued to expand in 2009, according to the annual report issued by the American Wind Energy Association.
"Our annual report documents an industry hard at work and on the verge of explosive growth if the right policies -- including a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) -- are put in place,” said AWEA Chief Executive Officer Denise Bode.
“A national RES will provide the long-term certainty that businesses need to invest tens of billions of dollars in new installations and manufacturing facilities which would create hundreds of thousands of American jobs,” Bode said.
The U.S. wind energy industry installed enough wind power in 2009 to power the equivalent of 2.4 million homes, the report said.
Fourteen states, including Kansas, have more than 1,000 megawatts of wind capacity.
The report noted wind energy highlights in Kansas, including:
-- Kansas has nearly tripled its wind capacity in the past two years;
-- Kansas ranks seventh nationally in percentage of electricity derived from wind;
-- Kansas is ranked second in the U.S. in terms of wind energy potential;
-- Kansas attracted Siemens Corp., a major turbine manufacturer, to open a facility in Hutchinson.