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Small Scale Wind

Category: Energy Source

Small-scale wind, usually found on-site, utilizes turbines to capture the kinetic energy of wind on campus. That kinetic energy is converted into mechanical power that runs a generator, producing renewable energy. Turbine heights and rotor sizes are considerably smaller than utility-scale projects. Small wind turbines can generate between 20 Watts and 100 kilowatts. 

Small-scale wind installation is best suited for locations with mostly flat terrain and few vertical obstacles. Your local zoning codes will need to allow the turbines. You should start your project by researching zoning and permitting laws for your area and establishing an energy budget.

Benefits of Small-Scale Wind

  • Visible commitment to sustainability
  • Can provide opportunities for student learning and engagement


  • Difficult to scale up to a meaningful energy contribution
  • Campus buildings and trees cause turbulence making wind energy production less efficient
  • Communities sometimes push back against wind installation


  • GHG Impact


    Limited mitigation due to lack of scalability.

  • Economic Impact

    Small Net Cost

  • Feasibility

    Some Challenges

    The technology exists.

  • Timeline

    < 1 year

    System design, integration and financing are often time-consuming but not unreasonable.

  • Maintenance


    Wind turbines have many moving parts which are subject to routine maintenance checks. 

  • Publicity

    That's really cool

    Campus visitors will see the visible commitment to campus sustainability. 

Small Scale Wind Providers