Productivity and Status of Wind Generation in California
February 21, 2019
Energy Assessments (200)
John Hingtgen, Diana Le, Brandon Davis, Brian Huang
This document was prepared to analyze and describe data collected through the Wind Performance Reporting System of the California Energy Commission. The report provides information to support the development of state energy policy, including growth in the renewable energy portfolio, greenhouse gas reduction, planning for natural gas generators, and reduction of water use.
The data cover wind generation and energy purchases from in-state wind projects with a nameplate capacity of at least 1 megawatt (MW) from 2014 through 2016. Analyses on capacities, energy produced, capacity factors, turbine numbers, generation operators, specific power, and specific energy are provided within the report. The report also examines differences among the Wind Resource Areas of California.
During this three-year period, the net energy produced averaged 13,000 gigawatt-hours per year with a final capacity of 5,644 MW and a combined capacity factor of 26 percent. Wind generation peaked in the second quarter of each year. The Tehachapi Wind Resource Area was the largest of the six established wind resource areas in the state. Statewide, the number of turbines decreased, especially in the Altamont area, while the average capacity per turbine increased. Most wind energy was purchased by investor-owned utilities.