About the Distributed Wind Program

This program exists to highlights the benefits small-scale wind turbine projects have on American homes and businesses. This sector of the wind industry provides on-site energy to American homes and businesses. It also provides a unique opportunity for the public to engage more directly with wind power technology in their communities. 

These two 100-kilowatt Northern Power turbines are located on a dairy farm in Yuma, CO.
Photo courtesy of DOE / Trevor Atkinson (NREL)

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Distributed Wind Turbines?
Distributed wind turbines are electric generators that use the energy of the wind on-site to produce clean, emissions-free power. The energy generated can go two different locations:

  • To the grid on the customer side of the meter
  • Off-grid to support local loads or grid operations

Who Uses Distributed Wind?
Distributed wind serves to create energy for individual homes, farms, and small businesses. With this simple and increasingly popular technology, individuals can generate their own power and cut their energy bills, while helping to protect the environment.

Unlike utility-scale turbines, small turbines can be suitable for use on properties as small as one acre of land in most areas of the country. A lot of these turbines are located on local school campuses and farms.

How do Distributed Wind Turbines Work?
A distributed wind turbine generates and use energy on-site. Turbines in this category range in size from smaller than 1 kW for off-grid applications to 1MW turbines. At the end of 2017, the Department of Energy reported that over 1GW of distributed wind has been installed around the U.S. for applications including homes, schools, commercial and industrial facilities, telecommunications, farms and ranches, and communities.

Where are U.S. Distributed Wind Projects Located?
Distributed wind projects can be located anywhere there is a viable wind resource. These projects are designed to help specific energy needs throughout a community. Here are a couple of examples of where a distributed wind turbine might be located:

  • Agricultural producers and other large areas of land
  • Corporations
  • Military installments
  • Rural electric cooperatives
  • Schools

In Virginia Beach, Virginia, two 10-kilowatt turbines generate electricity
for the Brock Environmental Center.
Photo courtesy of DOE / SmithGroupJJR / © Prakash Patel

AWEA Distributed Wind Members

Agile Wind Power
Barberwind Turbines LLC
Carter Wind Energy
Energy GPS Consulting LLC
Nexgen Energy LLC
PowerGrid Partners Ltd.
Primus Wind Power
Storke LLC


Community & Distributed Wind Advisory Group

The Community & Distributed Wind Advisory Group is comprised of AWEA Members who support the distributed wind (DW) industry. The group exists to provide guidance and recommendations to the AWEA Board, Committees, and staff to ensure the DW program meets the demands of its memberships and sector of the wind energy industry.

Please reach out to membership@awea.org to learn more about how to join this advisory group.

 

Additional Resources

To learn more about distributed wind, membership, or advisory group, please contact Sara Embry, sembry@awea.org.

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