Wind energy is defined by the process in which kinetic energy generated by wind is transformed into mechanical power to generate electricity. Wind power is the fastest growing source of electricity generation in the nation. Xcel Energy buys all of the Colorado wind-generated electricity from the high plains. Wind generated electricity in Colorado jumped from 0.6 percent in 2007 to 13.8 percent of the total electricity generated in 2013.
Using recent stats from 2013 obtained from the American Wind Energy Association, Colorado ranks 10th for total installed wind energy capacity at 2,332 megawatts (MW). There are 1,530 wind turbines and 28 wind projects on line. The following shows recent trends of wind capacity:
- Under Construction: 60 MW
- Added in 2013: 31.8 MW
- Added in 2012: 496.0 MW
- Added in 2011: 506.0 MW
Most of the new wind-facility construction activity is in northeast Colorado between the small towns of Peetz (Logan County) and Grover (Weld County), which is pictured above. Geographically this area along the Nebraska state line is an elevated high plain with a cliff edge along the southern edge where wind blows continually. This windy area also has existing electric transmission lines that can easily accommodate the new wind turbines.