Sometimes major change sneaks up, and that is the case with wind power in the PJM power, the world's largest wholesale electric market that operates in 13 states, with headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
In 2005 wind power provided 500 million kilowatt-hours and then 11 billion kilowatt-hours in 2010 or a 22 fold increase in just 5 years.
In 2010 wind power in PJM supplied enough electricity for 1.1 million homes.
2011 will see a further increase in wind power production as wind farms built in 2010 have a full year of production and more wind farms are constructed this year. Currently 4 wind farms are under construction just in Pennsylvania.
Wind has no air emissions, no water withdrawals, no water discharges. Wind farms have been opposed primarily for view impacts and bird and bat mortality that the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) has documented to be about 4 birds per year per turbine. See the Post about the PGC wildlife impact survey.
Wind energy has created tens of thousands of jobs directly and indirectly in the PJM region.
In addition, the 11 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity supply from wind farms lowered the wholesale price of electricity as the additional wind supply prevents more expensive units from operating and setting the market clearing price higher.
Wind energy is a complete price taker, with wind generator owners bidding zero into the PJM spot markets and taking whatever the spot market price is.