New map shows wind farms spreading rapidly across US

Wind power started in California in 1981 when the Altamont wind farm in Alameda County was built as a reaction to the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

But now, as a new map released Thursday shows, the industry is spreading rapidly across the United States, with more than 52,000 large-scale turbines now operating in 41 states.

A time lapse feature on the map, built by the American Wind Energy Association, shows the growth over time, from one lonely wind farm at Altamont Pass in Northern California to hundreds of wind farms that construction crews are building all across the remote fields and ranches of Great Plains — from Texas to North Dakota — and most recently, in the ocean, with America’s first offshore wind farm opening last year off Rhode Island.