Community Wind Handbook/What Is a Large Community Wind Project

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Community Wind Handbook

What Is a Large Community Wind Project?

A community wind project features a significant level of local control and ownership. A large community wind project is defined in this handbook as a community wind project with one or more utility-scale wind turbines (i.e., a turbine with a rated power of 1,500 kilowatts [kW] or more).

Turbines at Swauk Creek Ranch generate community-scale power. Photo from McKinstry, NREL 26780.

Projects of this size have an installed cost of more than $2 million and allow homeowners, businesses, schools, municipalities, and other organizations to independently produce enough energy to meet most or all of their energy needs.

In 2015, the capacity-weighted average installed project cost was approximately $1,690/kW. It should be noted that smaller projects are commonly associated with higher costs per kilowatt. The capacity-weighted average installed project cost for 2015 projects less than or equal to 5 megawatts (MW) was approximately $3,412/kW, while projects between 5 and 20 MW averaged approximately $1,931/kW.[1]


  1.  "U.S. Department of Energy. 2015 Wind Technologies Market Report."