Wind Turbines above Walla Walla River in Washington
With the completion of the initial phase of the Lower Snake River Wind Project in February, 2012, Washington has over 2,800 megawatts (MW) of wind power generation capacity. In 2011 6,209 million kilowatt-hours of electricity were generated from wind power in Washington.
At the end of 2011, Washington had 2573 MW of installed wind power generating capacity and was one of the top five states in terms of generating capacity.
Initiative 937 requires electric utilities with 25,000 or more customers to have 15 percent of their power supply generated from renewable resources by 2020. Washington state has sales tax exemptions for wind energy. Washington state provides utility grants, loans and rebates for wind power.
Installed wind power capacity in Washington has seen strong growth in recent years and Washington now ranks among the top ten states with the most wind power installed. Wind power accounted for 5.3% of total electricity generated in Washington during 2011.
The table below shows the growth in wind power installed nameplate capacity in MW for Washington since 1999.
Washington's wind power generating capacity has been steadily increasing since 2005.