To better understand distributed wind opportunities in the United States, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Renewable Energy Laboratory explored cost, performance, and valuation benchmarks necessary for distributed wind to achieve widespread commercial viability in the United States by 2035. Building on DOE's prior benchmark report "Assessing the Future of Distributed Wind: Opportunities for Behind-the-Meter Projects", the new Distributed Wind Futures Study employs higher-resolution data and new modeling techniques to highlight geographic trends in technical and economic potential and to compare the cost and performance of distribution-connected, megawatt-scale wind applications (referred to as "front-of-the-meter" applications) and behind-the-meter systems, thereby informing the case for investment. The report identifies the best locations and sectors for behind-the-meter and front-of-the-meter applications and provides data to inform the trade-offs consumers face when deciding between distributed wind and solar photovoltaic (PV).
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages45
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-7A40-83026


  • behind-the-meter
  • community wind
  • dGen
  • distributed wind
  • dWind
  • economic potential


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