US Distributed Wind Surpasses 1 Gigawatt Mark

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The US distributed wind energy market crept over the 1 gigawatt (GW) mark in 2017 according to a US Department of Energy report published late last month, after nearly 100 megawatts (MW) was added last year, bringing the cumulative capacity up to 1,076 MW.

The US Department of Energy (DoE) 2017 Distributed Wind Market Report was published by the Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, and highlighted by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) towards the end of August. According to the report, 83.7 MW worth of new distributed wind capacity was added during 2017 across 21 states — up from 43 MW installed in 2016 and 23.7 MW installed in 2015 —  representing 3,311 wind turbines and $274 million in investment.

US distributed wind capacity

Overall, there are over 81,000 distributed wind turbines across all 50 states of the United States (as well as Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Guam), led by Iowa which installed a total of 63.5 MW in 2017, pushing its cumulative capacity up to 192.7 MW.

Top states for distributed wind capacity, 2003-2017

“Despite minimal policy support, the market is poised for further growth in response to the recent ITC extension,” said Jennifer Jenkins, AWEA’s Distributed Wind Program Director. “We are working with industry to leverage the ITC, its proven success in reaching this important milestone, and drive new markets like C&I and microgrids.”

The total capacity brought online included 78 MW from distributed wind projects using turbines greater than 1 MW, a total of 4 MW came from wind turbines between 101 kilowatts (kW) and 1 MW in size, and another 1.7 MW (3,269 wind turbines) came from projects using wind turbines 100 kW in size.

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Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

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