Wind energy gains in U.S., government says

Aug. 6, 2013 at 8:51 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. Energy Department said Tuesday wind energy was the biggest source of new electricity in the country last year.

Deepwater Wind, an energy company in Rhode Island, said it plans to install 1,000 megawatts worth of wind energy off the state coast after announcing it was the provisional winner of two wind energy sites auctioned by the U.S. government last week.

The Energy Department said renewable energy installations have gained momentum since President Obama took office in 2009. The department said Tuesday wind energy was the No. 1 new source of new electricity generation in 2012, representing 43 percent off all new additions.

"As the fastest growing source of power in the United States, wind is paving the way to a cleaner, more sustainable future that protects our air and water and provides affordable, clean renewable energy to more and more Americans," Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement.

The department said nine states now rely on wind energy to meet more than 10 percent of their energy demands. The oil-rich state of Texas is the national leader, adding more wind energy to its grid last year than any other state.

More than 100,000 acres off the coast of Virginia go on the auction block Sept. 4. The Interior Department said additional auctions may take place for acreage off the coasts of Massachusetts, Maryland and New Jersey later this year and in 2014.

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