MINNEAPOLIS — New data from the U.S. Department of Energy show that Minnesota’s wind energy capacity increased nearly 10 percent last year.

Wind power accounts for nearly 18 percent of the electricity generated in the state, the Minnesota Public Radio reported . The data show that Minnesota ranks seventh in the nation for wind energy.

The report said the state has added enough new wind energy last year to power about 150,000 homes.

Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said the cost of wind power is competitive with other forms of electricity generation.

“Wind is now turning out to be one of the lowest cost alternatives — competitive with natural gas, and with other forms of electricity,” he said. “That’s why we’re seeing such a huge growth in the wind energy in Minnesota.”

The report also said wind power additions nationwide continued “at a rapid pace in 2016.” Texas continues to lead the country with about six times more wind power than Minnesota. Iowa was ranked second in the country and has about twice the Minnesota capacity.

Wind investment in the U.S. totaled $13 billion last year, increasing wind capacity by more than 8,200 megawatts.

The country’s first offshore wind power installation, the 30-megawatt Block Island project, began operating last year in Rhode Island.


Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org