Ohio may not be a state that comes to mind in a discussion of wind power, but a new government report shows its growing reputation.
The state had the second-highest new distributed wind power capacity in the United States with 6.3 megawatts in 2017, according to a report this week from by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Distributed wind energy systems can be any size turbine and are typically installed on residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial and community sites.
Smaller distributed wind turbines across the nation are used to help power homes, farms, local schools and manufacturing facilities, according to the report.
"Ohio has a competitive advantage in distributive wind," said Alex Fitzsimmons, chief of staff and chief policy advisor for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. He said distributed wind helps rural parts of the state.
Unlike wind power from wholesale generation where power is sent through transmission lines and substations, distributed wind power is used at or near where it is generated, according to DOE.
Iowa had the most new distributed wind capacity installed in 2017 with 63.47 megawatts, according to the report.
Distributed wind systems are connected on the customer side of the meter to meet the onsite load or directly to distribution or micro grids to help grid operation or offset large loads close by, and are possible for approximately 49.5 million residential, commercial or industrial sites, according to an analysis by the DOE.
The U.S. wind industry installed more than seven gigawatts of capacity in 2017, according to the report.
Wind energy supplied more than 10 percent of electricity generation in 14 states, and 1.3 percent in Ohio, according to the report.
Ohio added 72 megawatts of utility-scale wind capacity in 2017, according to the report. Texas had the most with 2,305. In Hardin County, for example, the Hog Creek Wind Farm went online in December and is 66 megawatts.
The report also shows the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation has an Ohio state lease and is in the permitting stage to develop the 21-megawatt Icebreaker project in Lake Erie.
The project would be the first fresh water wind farm in North America and hopes to create a new offshore wind industry in Lake Erie. The project has received funding support from the DOE’s Advanced Technology Demonstration Program for Offshore Wind.