The concept of distributed wind generation has been around since the 1970's and is just now gaining acceptance in the utility sector. Traditionally most forms of generation have been located at some distance from load centers. Energy from these generation plants had to be transmitted to large load centers like Minneapolis and Chicago via high voltage transmission lines. With recent increases in energy demand of large cities and new load centers popping up in areas where there once was no demand for electricity, system planners are looking to distributed generation as a way to quench the energy thirst of 21st century society with smaller dispersed power plants that can supply energy directly to load centers without the construction of new multi-million dollar transmission lines.
Distributed wind generation, wind farms of just one or several wind turbines, have several advantages over traditional large wind farms:
* distributed wind, in many cases, has a lower cost to integrate into the existing grid than large wind farms,
* new turbine technology can add voltage and reactive power support to distribution feeders far from substations, improving system reliability and power quality,
* distributed wind generation, in many cases, can supply power much closer to electrical loads than conventional power plants significantly reducing electrical losses as well as lessening constraints on congested power lines,
* distributed wind generation is a way for community stake holders to control electrical generation, allowing communities to keep energy dollars local and to take control their energy future.