New additions in 2016 amounted to 45.4 MW, representing 2585 turbines and $163m in investment, the report said.
Of this number, 43 MW came from distributed wind projects above 100 kW, while 2.4 MW came from the small wind (up to 100 kW) sector.
The 43 MW of larger distributed wind projects represented investments totalling $149m, an increase from 23.7 MW and $81m in 2015. This growth was driven mainly by the installation of behind-the-meter or remote net-metered projects for industry and municipalities, the report found.
The small wind sector’s 2.4 MW (representing 2560 turbines and around $14m in investment) was the lowest annual capacity addition recorded since 2012. But the report noted that while overall capacity addition was down, sales of turbines 10 kW and under were up on 2015’s numbers.
Residential (34 per cent) and agricultural (29 per cent) systems accounted for the majority of 2016’s installations.
New York state led the nation for small wind capacity deployment in 2016, accounting for 25 per cent of the total. In the larger distributed wind category, the leading states were Rhode Island, Minnesota and Massachusetts.
And new models are coming on the market, with three new small wind turbines certified in 2016, for a total of 15 different models that have been certified by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) as of July.
Small wind turbine manufacturers “continued to focus on international markets as a source of revenue”, the report said, although exports fell to 2014 levels after doubling in 2015. Exports of US-made small wind turbines from six manufacturers totalled 10.3 MW with an estimated value of $62 million.à‚