Wind Energy in California

Wind energy plays an integral role in California's electricity portfolio and in meeting the state's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), which requires electric utilities to source 50 percent of retail sales from renewable sources by 2030.

Commercial scale wind projects generated a net 13,500 gigawatt-hours of electricity in 2016 - about 6.81 percent of the state's gross system power. Additionally, hundreds of homes and farms are using smaller wind turbines to produce electricity.

Overview of Wind Energy in California

  • As of 2016 wind energy accounted for 39 percent of California’s renewable energy production for the RPS. Wind energy projects totaled 5,644 megawatts of capacity in California at the end of 2016, providing enough electricity to power more than 2 million California households.

  • The number of megawatts represents more than a tripling of wind energy capacity since California's RPS law was adopted.

  • Kern, Solano, and Riverside Counties lead the state in wind production.

  • The majority of wind turbines are located in six regions: Altamont, East San Diego County, Pacheco, Solano, San Gorgonio, and Tehachapi.

  • Modern Wind turbines are 30 times larger in size and capacity than older turbines and technological advances have made wind energy a cost competitive and grid-friendly source of electricity

  • According to the Electric Power Research Institute, the cost of producing wind energy has decreased nearly four-fold since 1980.

  • Wind energy is now the country’s fourth-largest source of electric capacity, behind natural gas, coal and nuclear energy.

For assistance regarding the Renewable Energy Program areas, please contact:

Renewable Energy Call Center
Toll Free - 1-844-454-2906
Outside California - 916-653-0237