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Energy Policy & Economics Group

Research Areas

Distributed Wind

PNNL conducts distributed wind market research and analysis on behalf of DOE's Wind and Water Power Technologies Office. PNNL produces the annual Market Report on Wind Technologies in Distributed Applications. The Market Report serves as a primary information resource providing data, analysis, and information to help consumers, policy makers, and industry players better understand the distributed wind market.

Distributed wind is defined in terms of technology application based on a wind project's location relative to end-use and power-distribution infrastructure, rather than on technology size or project size.

Distributed wind is the use of wind turbines at homes, farms and ranches, businesses, public and industrial facilities, and off-grid to offset all or a portion of the local energy consumption at those locations, or systems connected directly to the local grid to support grid operations and local loads. Distributed wind is not wholesale power generated at large wind farms and sent via transmission lines to substations for subsequent distribution to loads and distant end-users.

Because the definition is based on where the project is located and how the power is used, the distributed wind market includes wind turbines and projects of many sizes. For example, distributed wind systems can range in size from a 1-kW or smaller off-grid wind turbine at a remote cabin to a 10-kW turbine at a home or farm to several multi-megawatt wind turbines at a university campus, manufacturing facility, or any large facility. On-site distributed wind turbines allows farmers, schools, and other energy users to benefit from reduced utility bills, predictable controlled costs, and to hedge against the possibility of rising retail electricity rates.

Publications:

Fact Sheet: 2013 Distributed Wind Market Report

Fact Sheet: 2012 Distributed Wind Market Report

2012 Market Report on Wind Technologies in Distributed Applications

Distributed Wind Policy Comparison Tool

Additional Resources:

http://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/distributed-wind

http://smallwindcertification.org/

For further information on Distributed Wind, contact Alice Orrell, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), at (509) 372-4632.

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