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Chart: The top 10 states building America’s renewable energy resources

Which oil-and-gas hotbed is No. 1?
By Maria Virginia Olano

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The U.S. now has more than 200 gigawatts of total operating utility-scale clean power capacity, and it will soon be adding 120 gigawatts more, according to a new report from the American Clean Power Association. This planned growth is due in part to 28 GW of new power-purchase agreements signed in 2021. More than half of the capacity in this clean energy pipeline is concentrated in just 10 states.

Texas is way ahead with its planned renewable buildout; it’s home to 17 percent of the clean energy capacity currently in development in the U.S. Though Texas is well-known as an oil state — it leads the nation in crude oil production — it’s becoming a renewables powerhouse too. The Lone Star State already has more wind power than any other state, and it’s about to add more than 12 GW of solar.

California comes in second in planned clean energy capacity. It currently ranks first in the country for installed solar; with the projects that are now under development, it will add more than 8 GW of additional solar and more than 5 GW of batteries to help store that solar power for use when the sun isn’t shining.

New York is third with its clean energy pipeline, thanks in large part to its ambitious offshore wind plans. The state has more than 4 GW of offshore projects under development. Three other states on this list also have significant amounts of offshore wind in the works: Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

While the country has made important progress on its buildout of clean energy in recent years, only about 20 percent of electricity in the U.S. was generated by renewables in 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. More needs to be done, at a faster pace, to reach the climate goals and targets our country needs to achieve,” said Heather Zichal, CEO of the American Clean Power Association.

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Maria Virginia Olano is editorial producer at Canary Media.