Commercial (Large) Scale

What is commercial (large) scale wind?

 

Large scale wind (also often called 'utility scale') refers to wind energy projects greater than 1 megawatt (MW). Typically, the electricity is sold rather than used on-site. This category can include large arrays of 100 or more turbines owned by large corporations or a single locally-owned wind turbine greater than 1 MW in size. Over time turbines have gotten larger and larger. Not so many years ago the largest turbines were 600kW in size, and these were then the large scale models. Many wind farms still exist with turbines in the 250 kW to 950 kW size range. These are commercial scale operations, although by current (2013) standards, the turbines are now considered mid-sized. The term 'mid-size' is currently used for turbines above 100kW up to 1MW.

Wind Project Calculator

Windustry Wind Project Calculator

The Windustry Wind Project Calculator was designed by Alice Orrell, Alice Orrell Consulting, and Windustry for the Community Wind Toolbox.

The Wind Project Calculator was developed to assist in performing cash flow modeling for community wind projects. You will need to enter specific information about the type of turbine you are considering, the estimated annual average wind speed, information about electricity use and electric rates, and information about financing and income taxes. The program will estimate the cash flows for investing in a wind turbine and the rate of return on the cash investments.

Use this calculator in conjunction with software from the Idaho National Laboratory. The software from Idaho National Laboratory is designed to combine validated wind resource data with wind turbine power curves to calculate average wind speed, estimated annual energy production, and capacity factor. Also included with the software is a program to help you create a wind rose for your site. The software is available at www.inl.gov/wind/software/

Use of the Windustry Wind Project Calculator is for informational purposes. You may not modify any content, create derivative works from, transfer or sell any information, products or services obtained from Windustry unless expressly permitted by Windustry. Elements of the Windustry Wind Project Calculator are protected by trade dress, trademark, unfair competition, and other laws and may not be copied or imitated in whole or in part. The Windustry Wind Project Calculator is provided "as is," and Windustry makes no warranties or representations of any kind that the services provided by this software will be uninterrupted, error-free, or free from viruses or other forms of harmful computer code. You may not remove the Windustry logo from this software nor from printed pages of or created by this software, and you must attribute this software and it's printed creations in all forms and formats to Windustry. See the Windustry Terms of Use for further information.

Also see:

Overview of a Wind Project

Wind energy offers many financial, environmental, and social benefits to the communities and individuals who choose to get involved with it. Developing a wind project, however, can be a time-consuming and complex process. Before beginning, you will want to familiarize yourself with all of the necessary steps and gain a solid understanding of the elements of a wind project.

Comparing Statewide Economic Impacts of New Generation from Wind, Coal and Natural Gas in Arizona, Colorado and Michigan

This 2006 report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory assesses the direct economic impacts of constructing new electricity from wind, coal and natural gas in three different states. Initial results showed that new electricity generation from wind could be more economically effective than adding new electricity generation from gas or coal power and that new wind electricity generation keeps more dollars local.

Read the report

A Comparative Analysis of Community Wind Power Development Options in Oregon

A Comparative Analysis of Business Structures Suitable for Farmer-Owned Wind Power Projects in the United States (November 2004) was prepared for the Wind & Hydropower Technologies Program, U.S. Department of Energy, by Mark Bolinger and Ryan Wise.

For years, farmers in the United States have looked with envy on their European counterparts' ability to profitably farm the wind through ownership of distributed, utility-scale wind projects. Only within the past few years, however, has farmer- or community-owned wind power development become a reality in the United States. The primary hurdle to this type of development in the United States has been devising and implementing suitable business and legal structures that enable such projects to take advantage of tax-based federal incentives for wind power. This article discusses the limitations of such incentives in supporting farmer- or community-owned wind projects, describes four ownership structures that potentially overcome such limitations, and finally conducts comparative financial analysis on those four structures, using as an example a hypothetical 1.5 MW farmer-owned project located in the state of Oregon.

Read the Report

Renewable Energy: Wind Power's Contribution to Electric Power Generation and Impact on Farms and Rural Communities

Published by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) in September 2004, this report examines the amount of electricity generated by U.S. wind power and prospects for its growth, the contribution of wind power to farmers' income and rural communities, the advantages and disadvantages for farmers of owning a wind power project versus leasing land for a project, and USDA's efforts to promote wind power in rural communities.

“Wind Power's Contribution to Electric Power Generation and Impact on Farms and Rural Communities Wind power provides electricity without polluting the air or depleting nonrenewable resources. Wind power relies on steady winds to turn the blades of power-generating turbines. Because these turbines generally are located on rural lands, wind power could also provide economic benefits to farmers and rural communities.”

Read the report

Subscribe to Commercial (Large) Scale