Wind energy is one of the fastest-growing renewable energies all around the world. Since 2000, it is the largest source of new renewable power generation added in the United States with more than 82GW installed across 41 states. The wind has the potential to support more than 600,000 jobs in the USA by 2050.
These numbers show that the energy transition and the migration to a low carbon economy provides a sustainable future for new markets and opportunities. The global installed wind-generation capacity onshore and offshore has increased by a factor of almost 75 in the past two decades, jumping from 7.5GW in 1997 to some 564GW by 2018, according to IRENA's latest data.
Wind power is a clean energy source, and the usage is on the rise worldwide. But this is not the only reason. Beyond being renewable, wind energy is cost-effective (1–2 cents per kilowatt-hour after the production tax credit).
By 2050, renewable energy will be responsible for creating 42m jobs in green projects, which is four times more than today, and 28% of all employed energy professionals will be in North America.
Today, there are more than 100,000 workers in the United States wind sector. And the Wind Vision Report predicts more than 600,000 jobs in manufacturing, installation, maintenance, and supporting services by 2050.
The American Wind Energy Association have a great interactive chart highlighting how many wind professionals were employed in each state in 2019.
You can click the project names to jump to a summary of each.
Top 5 US wind energy projects
1. Traverse Wind Energy Center
Operated by Invenergy LLC, Traverse Wind Energy Center is a construction of a 999MW wind farm in Custer and Blaine Counties, Oklahoma. It will provide enough sustainable energy to power 300,000 American homes.
The output generated by the facility will be purchased by American Electric Power (AEP). The project is part of the North Central Energy Facilities project.
The Traverse Wind Energy Center predicts to create 200-350 jobs during construction and employ 32 full-time operations and maintenance (O&M) staff once operational.
2. Aviator Wind Project - Onshore
This project is a 525MW onshore wind farm in Coke County, Texas. Aviator Wind Project will create approximately 300 short-term construction jobs and at least nine long-term operations positions.
McDonald's and Facebook will purchase the energy produced from this wind farm which is operated by Ares EIF Management, CMS Energy, and Kansai Electric Power Company.
3. Goodnight Wind Energy Project - Onshore
Operated by FGE Power, Goodnight Wind Energy will produce 500MW of capacity, in Armstrong County, Texas, generating electricity to power over 500,000 Texas homes.
The project provides technical job training opportunities in partnership with local and regional colleges/universities. Goodnight Wind Energy will create over 85 jobs during construction and over 15 permanent staff positions once fully operational.
4. Alle-Catt Wind Farm - Onshore
A 340MW onshore wind farm to be built on approximately 20,000 acres of private land in Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Wyoming Counties, in western New York. The project will comprise 117 turbines and power 134,000 homes annually.
The construction will start in the fourth quarter of 2021, with the aim of completion by the end of 2022. An estimated 11-13 permanent jobs will be created from the project.
5. Vineyard Wind I - Offshore
This is the first utility-scale offshore wind energy project in the United States, over 15 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. Vineyard Wind I is scheduled to begin operating in 2023.
With 800 MW of installed capacity, 84 offshore wind turbines, and an investment of over $3bn, it is the biggest wind farm currently under development in the USA.
The project will generate electricity about 2GW of wind power, enough to meet the demand of more than 400,000 homes and businesses throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.