Total Wind Power Capacity, According to the U.S. Wind Turbine Database

A lone windmill spinning above grassfields, doing its part to contribute to total wind power capacity from USWTD.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has released the U.S. Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB), a useful resource for visualizing the distribution of wind power generation in the United States.

The USWTDB provides onshore and offshore wind turbine locations in the United States, corresponding facility information, and turbine technical specifications. By accessing the U.S. Wind Turbine Database, you can see which areas are abundant with windmills, as well as regional statistics for output.

As of May 15, 2018, according to the U.S. Wind Turbine Database, there currently are 57,636 wind turbines within the United States, with a total rated capacity of 89,197 megawatts (MW).

When compared with other forms of renewable energy, this information indicates a substantially larger amount of usable wind energy. Hydropower, which has long remained a practical source of energy, was surpassed by wind power at the end of 2016, and it now retains a total capacity of around 80 GW.

Solar power, a potentially serious player in the electricity generation sector, only has about 53.3 GW of total installed capacity, as of the end of 2017. However, the solar industry has been rapidly installing solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays nationwide, so the U.S. solar capacity is predicted to double over the next five years. This would place it above the current wind power output.

Geothermal power in the U.S. is minimal. It has a total capacity of around 3 GW, but this amount is also likely to increase in the near future.

However, conventional energy sources still maintain a capacity higher than any renewable alternatives. Natural gas, which has continuously grown in usage due to its accessibility, affordability, and reliability in supporting energy loads, has a whopping capacity of 450 GW.

Coal, on the other hand, still has a high capacity, but its total output is dwindling as more and more coal power plants are retired. U.S. coal power capacity peaked at 318 GW around 2011. Since then, it has fallen below 259 GW.

You can view the U.S. Wind Turbine Database here.

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