Minnesota now #4 wind producer in U.S.

A new report (PDF) from the American Wind Energy Association confirms that 2010 was a disastrous year for the wind industry. After seeing strong growth in new capacity nearly every year for a decade, wind installations in 2010 fell by nearly half from 2009.

In Minnesota, though, three large wind farms went online in the fourth quarter of 2010, pushing the state past Washington as the fourth largest wind producer in the U.S.:

Here’s how the other states measure up:

The Elm Creek II, Nobles and Ridgewind projects together account for 275 MW of installed capacity, about 5% of the total growth in the U.S. for 2010.

AWEA expects 2011 to be a better year, as more than 5,300 MW of new wind capacity are already under construction.

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