Kern County Tops List for Wind Power Capacity in U.S.

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Brookings investigated how America’s 100 largest metro areas generate electricity in the wake of the Clean Power Plan to cut power plant emissions by 32 percent under 2005 levels in the next 15 years. In addition to growing energy demands, metro regions contain some of the nation’s largest power plants by total capacity.

Kern County No. 1 for wind power

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Click above to view percentage breakdowns for electricity generation capacity by power plant fuel type.

Kern’s high ranking is attributed to the Alta Wind Energy Center, located in Tehachapi spread across 3,200 acres. The Alta Wind project is the nation’s largest wind farm and second largest in the world and will supply approximately 1,550 MW of renewable energy to Southern California Edison (SCE) over a 25-year period. The project will use up to 600 wind turbines, serving the needs of 257,000 California homes upon completion.

As the federal government and states look to meet new carbon reduction targets under the Clean Power Plan, ensuring that metro areas produce energy in a cleaner, more efficient manner is crucial. Kern County’s position as one of the leading regions for renewables in California makes it a major player in the future of energy production.

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