The wind energy industry installed 2,836 megawatts of new generating capacity from January to March 2009, double the amount of the same period a year ago, said the American Wind Energy Association on Tuesday.

The total wind projects developed in the first quarter of the year have the capacity to power 816,000 homes and were completed in 15 states.

These brand new wind projects shine a ray of hope on our economy today, creating good jobs and powering homes with a clean, inexhaustible source of energy, said AWEA Chief Executive Officer, Denise Bode in a statement.

The states with the fastest growth in wind capacity during the first quarter were Indiana with 75 percent, Maine with 55 percent, Nebraska 53 percent, Idaho, 49 percent and New York 34 percent.

The total wind power generating capacity in the U.S. now totals 28,206 MW, enough electricity for over 8 million homes. Because the electricity is generated from clean sources, it avoids the emissions of 52 million tons of carbon dioxide per year or the equivalent of removing 8.8 million cars from the road, AWEA noted.