Big dreams for renewable energy often goad people into imagining big wind projects with hundreds of turbines. But lots of smaller projects are just as likely to add up to big numbers.
Counting wind projects from 1999-2010 (based on data from LBNL’s excellent Wind Technologies Market report) the average size of an American wind project is 80 megawatts (MW). The size of projects has risen in the past decade, from about 50-60 MW, but largely because the average turbine size in US wind projects has nearly doubled to 1.79 MW in that time period.
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John directs the Democratic Energy program at ILSR and he focuses on energy policy developments that best expand the benefits of local ownership and dispersed generation of renewable energy. His seminal paper, Democratizing the Electricity System, describes how to blast the roadblocks to distributed renewable energy generation, and how such small-scale renewable energy projects are the key to the biggest strides in renewable energy development.
Farrell also authored the landmark report Energy Self-Reliant States, which serves as the definitive energy atlas for the United States, detailing the state-by-state renewable electricity generation potential. Farrell regularly provides discussion and analysis of distributed renewable energy policy on his blog, Energy Self-Reliant States (energyselfreliantstates.org), and articles are regularly syndicated on Grist and Renewable Energy World.
John Farrell can also be found on Twitter @johnffarrell, or at email@example.com.