Wind Energy Market Sectors
U.S. power plants generate electricity for homes, factories, and businesses from a variety of resources, including coal, hydro, natural gas, nuclear, petroleum, and (non-hydro) renewable resources such as wind and solar energy. This power generation mix varies significantly across the country depending on available resources, market prices, public policy, and government or business targets.
Currently renewable energy accounts for 13% of the power generated for the U.S. electric grid. Wind power generation in the United States has greatly increased over the years, with more than 75 gigawatts of wind-generating capacity installed. The Energy Department's Wind Vision report quantifies the economic, environmental, and social benefits of 35% of the nation's electricity coming from wind by 2050.
From large, land-based utility-scale wind power facilities to small, distributed, and community wind projects, individuals, businesses, schools, communities, and utilities are using wind energy. Learn more about the wind market sectors: land-based and offshore utility-scale projects and distributed wind projects.
Utility-Scale Wind Market Sector
The Energy Department defines utility-scale wind projects as land-based and offshore projects larger than 1 megawatt. Utility-scale wind power is a cost-effective source of low-emissions power generation in regions where substantial wind energy potential exists. In some regions of the country, wind power prices are competitive with wholesale power prices and other new sources of generation.
Construction was completed on the 30-megawatt Block Island Wind Farm, the United States’ first offshore wind project, on August 18, 2016. The project is generating electricity, and several additional U.S. offshore wind projects are advancing through the development process.
Distributed Wind Market Sector
The distributed wind market includes wind turbines and projects of many sizes. Distributed wind is utilizing wind turbines, off-grid or grid-connected, at homes, farms and ranches, businesses, public and industrial facilities, and other sites to offset all or a portion of the local energy consumption at or near those locations.
Distributed wind systems can range from an off-grid wind turbine producing less than 1 kilowatt to a small array of multi-megawatt wind turbines. A distributed wind project can include community wind projects and small wind projects.
Find a Wind Project Near You
Would you like to see a wind turbine? Find a wind project near you.
Buying Wind Energy
Individuals, companies, institutions, and governments have opportunities to buy wind power or support the development of wind power.
Learn More About Wind Energy
At the end of 2016, the United States had installed more than 75 gigawatts of wind that generated enough megawatt-hours to power approximately 17.5 million American homes. Learn about how wind energy generates power; where the best wind resources are; how you can own, host, partner with, and support wind power; and how and where wind energy has increased over the past decade.