Key Definitions

Community Wind

Any wind project of 20 megawatts (MW) or smaller is a community wind project if it meets certain conditions and any project up to 100 MW is a community wind project if in-state owners own at least 33.3% of the project.  AWEA’s complete definition of Community Wind is available on the AWEA website.

Decommission

An individual or series of wind turbines, or an entire wind project, which is taken offline, meaning the turbines no longer deliver electricity to the grid on a permanent basis.  Projects or turbines that are decommissioned are commonly removed physically from the project site, but physical removal is not a requirement.

Independent Power Producer (IPP)

Type of Project Developer or Project Owner.  An IPP is an entity that is independent of the electric utility purchasing the power and the IPP can develop, own and operate a wind project.

Independent System Operator/Regional Transmission Organization (ISO/RTO)

Mostly interchangeable terms for the seven large transmission, power system, and electricity market operators in the U.S. that are independently operated and overseen by FERC. The seven ISOs/RTOs in the U.S. are California ISO, Midwest ISO (MISO), Southwest Power Pool (SPP), Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), PJM, New York ISO, and ISO New England. The ISO/RTO regions are generally characterized by having market structures and operating procedures that are favorable to wind integration, such as centralized energy and ancillary services markets, large balancing areas, and fast generator dispatch and transmission scheduling.

Installed (or Online)

Quarter and Year that a wind project, or capacity portion of a wind project, is considered to be online and delivering electricity to the power grid or ultimate point of delivery.  A wind project, or capacity portion of a wind project, is officially reported as online and installed in AWEA market reports based on this definition. The timing of installation is usually consistent with "Commercial Operation Date” but may differ, and specific criteria is at the discretion of the wind project owner.  A project owner may report capacity of a wind project as installed in separate phases.

Merchant

Type of power sales for a wind project without a traditional power purchase agreement where power is sold into a spot or short-term market, sometimes with a hedge contract, or an option to sell the power at a certain price in the future.

Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

Contract for power between Project Owner and Power Purchaser (electric utility) with known terms on a basis of 1-year or longer.

Power Purchaser

Electric utility or end use customer purchasing the power, often under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) contract for specific amount of wind power capacity from wind project, or electric utility or end use customer taking the wind power through direct project ownership.

Project Developer

Company or companies managing most aspects of the wind project development process which is often a joint effort among several companies and all companies are listed when available.

Project Owner/Managing Owner

Company or companies that will have a managing & ownership interest in project when it is installed, though individual project owners they may not have 100% ownership.  Multiple project owners can share ownership of a wind project. The Project Owner or Managing Owner, as reported by AWEA, does not usually include the structural equity investors which often have an ownership stake in the wind project.

Rated Capacity

Total nameplate capacity rating (normally in megawatts, MW) of the wind project.

Repower

A wind project site that previously hosted installed and operational wind turbines which were decommissioned and replaced with wind turbines that are online and operational.  Repowering is only associated with the replacement of the full turbine (nacelle, tower and blades) or the replacement core components of the drivetrain that change the rated capacity of the wind project.  Changes in power controls, electronics or software that alter the rated capacity of the turbine are captured as a “turbine uprate” and are not considered a repower. 

Turbine Manufacturer

Turbine vendor or original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the wind turbines supplied to a wind project.

Turbine Rating

Nameplate capacity rating of each wind turbine in megawatts (MW) – typically the maximum potential power output of the turbine generator at the time of installation.

Turbine Uprate

An increase in the original turbine rating, based on the turbine model characteristics, of an individual turbine due to changes in the power curve for a specific individual turbine based on changes in software, replacement of blades, or other mechanical alterations. The project owner reports turbine uprating.

Wind Project

A group of wind turbines that is geographically contiguous and owned by the same project owner or set of project owners.  A wind project can be built in multiple phases, with capacity brought online at different times, can have more than one power offtaker, and can have more than one turbine model or manufacturer.

Wind Project Name

Name of the Wind Project supplied by the Project Developer or Project Owner