For nearly as long as history has been recorded humans have been capturing the power in wind to perform work in one way or another. Currently the most common use for wind power is the generation of electricity; this is accomplished at different scales from the very small to the very large. Distributed wind is the use of wind turbines at homes, farm and ranches, businesses, public and industrial facilities, off-grid and other sites connected either physically or virtually on the customer side of the meter to offset all or a portion of local energy consumption or to support grid operations.
“Distributed wind energy systems provide clean, renewable power for on-site use and help relieve pressure on the power grid while providing jobs and contributing to energy security for homes, farms, schools, factories, private and public facilities, distribution utilities, and remote locations. America pioneered small wind technology in the 1920s, and it is the only renewable energy industry segment that the United States still dominates in technology, manufacturing, and world market share.
Distributed wind systems generally provide electricity on the retail side of the electric meter without need of transmission lines, offering a strong, low-cost alternative to photovoltaic (PV) power systems that are increasingly used in urban communities. Small-scale distributed wind turbines also produce electricity at lower wind speeds than large, utility-grade turbines, greatly expanding the availability of land with a harvestable wind resource. These factors, combined with increasingly high retail energy prices and demand for on-site power generation, have resulted in strong market pull for the distributed wind industry, which is poised for rapid market expansion.”
T. Forsyth & I. Baring-Gould
National Renewable Energy Laboratory 2007