Source: U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National LaboratorySource: U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryThe distributed wind installed capacity throughout the U.S. and its territories now totals 1,127 MW, which is produced by over 83,000 turbines according to the 2018 annual report issued last month by the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

More developers are deploying large-scale turbines with capacities greater than 1 MW, and use of mid-size turbines in the 101 kW to 1 MW range is becoming less common. The average nameplate capacity of turbines greater than 100 kW in distributed wind projects has increased. In 2003, the average turbine capacity used in distributed wind projects with turbines greater than 100 kW in size was 1.1 MW. In 2018, the average capacity size was almost double that at 2.1 MW.

The levelized cost of distributed wind energy was 23 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for small wind projects, 14 cents/kWh for mid-size turbine projects and 5 cents/kWh for large-scale turbines in distributed service.

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com