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Distributed wind

Distributed wind consists of wind turbines connected to the distribution level of the electric grid, to serve either on-site loads or local loads in the same grid. Use cases are utility (cooperative or publicly owned), industrial, residential, institutional, governmental, commercial, or agricultural. The most common grid applications are grid-connected microgrids, isolated grids, and remote off-grid [1].
In 2020, the average distributed wind project (excluding small-scale wind  <100kW) had two turbines of size 2.2MW for a total plant size 4.4 MW [1].
Considering urban environments, the following distributed wind cases showcase possible applications:
1)    Small cluster of utility-scale wind turbines serving a local energy community by providing energy to the local grid-connected microgrid. For example, the Konkanmäki wind farm (three x 3.45 MW wind turbines), built about 6km from Varkaus, with population 20 000 inhabitants [2] in Finland.
2)    Small cluster of utility-scale wind turbines co-located with a single isolated loads such as municipal infrastructure (e.g. wastewater treatment plant, municipal solid waste plant, school), manufacturing plant, or retail space. For example, the Field Point Wastewater Treatment Facility, where the wind ( 3 x 1.5MW wind turbines ) produces 45% of the plant needs [3]. A challenge is the combined requirement of wind resource availability and the suitability of the site for co-location with infrastructure. 
3)    Wind power plant coupled with hydrogen electrolyzer, where both products hydrogen and oxygen are used. Hydrogen may be used to power urban transport or nearby hydrogen ferry in coastal locations, and oxygen may be used for purification in a nearby wastewater treatment plant. The 400kW hydrogen electrolyzer is fed by a 3MW wind turbine in the Brande pilot, producing enough hydrogen to fuel 50-70 cars every day [4]. A future system may include the integration of an upscaled system with a nearby wastewater treatment plant for use of oxygen sub product. Potential upscaling to ~12MW wind and co-location with the harbor to feed hydrogen ferry[5].

The comparison between financial metrics of three wind energy installations is provided below (an exchange rate of 1.142USD/EUR has been used corresponding to 2020). The larger onshore turbine is of course more profitable. Further, wind farm projects closer to cities will have higher OpEx cost due to higher land lease prices.

(ref: “Stehly, Tyler and Patrick Duffy. 2021. 2020 Cost of Wind Energy Review. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-5000-81209”)

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