Utility-Scale Wind Energy

photo of a utility-scale wind turbine

Wind is an important source of affordable, renewable energy, contributing 6.3% of the nation's electricity supply in 2017.

Utility-scale turbines are usually defined as turbines that exceed 100 kilowatts in size. Utility-scale wind turbines are typically installed in large, multi-turbine wind farms connected to the nation's transmission system. More information is available on the Energy Department's wind energy research portfolio.

Chart showing the potential wind velocity with taller towers.

Land-Based Wind

There are more than 54,000 land-based wind turbines operating across 41 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico. These turbines represent more than 90 gigawatts of energy capacity. The average capacity of newly installed wind turbines in the United States in 2017 was 2.32 megawatts, up 8% from the previous year.

Offshore Wind

The U.S. offshore wind industry is moving forward as several commercial-scale projects were selected for state-issued power purchase awards in 2018, while other U.S. states have implemented dedicated procurement and offtake policies during 2017–2018. The U.S. offshore wind development pipeline contains more than 25,000 megawatts of potential capacity across 13 states. See offshore projects in the United States advancing through the development process.

More Information on Utility-Scale Wind

These resources provide additional information about utility-scale wind.

Wind Vision

This report describes the potential development of wind energy through 2050 and provides an overview of the current wind market, expected impacts if 35% of the nation's electric generation comes from wind power, and a proposed outline of activities that will be required to make the vision a reality.

Enabling Wind Power Nationwide

This report describes the impact of the changes in wind turbine technology, mostly through the use of taller towers and larger wind turbine blades. Technological advancements have expanded areas in which wind can be economically developed and enabled every state in the nation to have utility-scale wind potential.

Annual Wind Technologies Market Report

This yearly report describes the status of the U.S. wind energy industry, including trends, performance, market drivers, and future outlook.

Maps & Data