August 5, 2013 - The windswept prairies of the Midwest are undergoing an energy transformation the electric grid can’t handle.
Wind turbines tower over rural vistas in the heartland, where the clean energy source is becoming increasingly popular with utility companies that face state-mandated renewable energy standards. Unfortunately, the nation’s aging power grid is hampering those efforts.
At the end of last year, installed wind-generation capacity totaled 60 gigawatts nationwide – 5 percent of the nation’s production capacity – according to data from the U.S. Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Another 135 gigawatts of potential wind production awaits development and connection to the grid, according to industry data.
“There hasn’t been a lot of investment in the grid for the last two decades,” said Michael Goggin, a senior analyst at the American Wind Energy Association, the industry’s main trade group. “We just don’t have a strong grid that’s built out in the parts of the country where there are a lot of wind resources.” read more>>>