Assessing the Future of Distributed Wind: Opportunities for Behind-the-Meter Projects

Eric Lantz, Benjamin Sigrin, Robert Preus, Edward Baring-Gould, Michael Gleason

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This first-of-a-kind exploratory analysis characterizes the future opportunity for behind-the-meter distributed wind. Opportunities for behind-the-meter distributed wind are considered from three perspectives: addressable resource potential, economic potential, and market potential. The authors find that there could be a substantive role in the nation's electricity future for behind-the-meter distributed wind. Notwithstanding some potential overlap with the multimegawatt-utility-focused wind power resource and the current exclusion of competition from other distributed generation resources, its resource is large, and there are conditions under which the economics for large quantities (tens of gigawatts) become viable over time. To realize the opportunities presented by scenarios that consider relatively favorable conditions for behind-the-meter distributed wind, our analysis suggests that technology cost reduction, including cost reductions in balance of plant and installation, and performance improvements are necessary but not sufficient conditions to foster more robust growth.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages65
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-67337


  • behind-the-meter
  • distributed generation
  • distributed wind
  • dWind
  • market potential
  • NREL
  • wind energy
  • wind power


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