During the first US energy crises in the 1970s the need for a sustainable and renewable energy was evident and President Jimmy Carter created the first renewable energy program in the country. In the early 1980s the first commercial electricity from wind energy in the United States was produced and thus the modern US Wind Energy Industry was started in Tehachapi. Small turbines that stood only 80 feet tall and produced only 25 kilowatts of power were enough to supple only a handful of homes. Today, these mammoth turbines on tubular towers are over 300 feet tall and generate 1.5 to 2 megawatts and enough power for 700 to 800 average homes.
While there were close to 30 wind companies in the beginning, by 2010 only a handful remained, most notable Florida Power and Light, Oak Creek Energy Systems, Inc., and Zond Energy, which became Enron Wind Power and is now GE Wind Energy, one of the largest producers of wind turbines in the world. In the early 2000s Tehachapi was the largest producer of wind energy and considered the "Wind Capital of the World" but in recent years the title has been challenges by major project developments elsewhere. With the completion of new and upgraded transmission lines by Southern California Edison and additional 4,500 MW of renewable energy will set Tehachapi on course to claim the largest concentration
of renewable energy on the face of the planet.
Set on the future need for skilled wind and renewable energy technicians, Airstreams Renewable Inc. provided training and education programs at their 33-acre 'Green Corner' Renewable Energy Training Center and Solar Industrial Park in Tehachapi. It showcases Tehachapi as the birthplace for US wind power and promotes renewable energy as sustainable alternative to oil.
The Kern Wind Energy Association was formed in 1983, with its mission to unify the wind industry in the Tehachapi-Mojave Wind Resource Area and promote an environment for wind energy business retention, growth and success.