The 2022 edition of the Distributed Wind Market Report provides stakeholders with statistics and analysis of the distributed wind market— which includes power from wind turbines installed near where the power will be used—along with insight into is trends and characteristics. The report analyzes distributed wind projects of all sizes and details the U.S. small wind market for the 2021 calendar year.
The U.S. distributed wind sector added 11.7 megawatts (MW) of new distributed wind energy capacity in 2021 from 1,751 turbines installed across 15 states. This represents $41 million in investment and brings the total installed capacity to 1,075 MW from more than 89,000 wind turbines across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. Rhode Island, Kansas, and Minnesota led the U.S. in distributed wind capacity additions in 2021, each with a megawatt-scale wind turbine project, which combined to represent 75% of the annual distributed wind capacity installed.
U.S.-based manufacturers and installers of small wind turbines (100 kilowatts or less) reported an increased interest in incorporating distributed wind in microgrids and hybrid systems. Small wind retrofits continue to account for a significant portion of new domestic small wind capacity deployment, representing 42% of the total installed small wind capacity in 2021, compared to 68% in 2020 and 27% in 2019.
Installation costs for all categories of distributed wind took noticeable dips in 2021, with the largest drop seen in new small wind projects. The average capacity-weighted installed cost for new small wind projects in 2021 was $5,120k/kW compared to $9,970/kW in 2019.