November 4, 2021
Journal Article

Valuation of Distributed Wind in an Isolated System


Remote communities are increasingly adopting renewable energy, such as wind, as they transition away from diesel energy generation. It is important to understand the benefits and costs of wind energy to isolated systems so that decision makers can optimize their choices in these communities. There are few examples of valuation of wind energy as a distributed resource and numerous differences in valuation approaches, especially in the inclusion of environmental and economic impacts. We apply a distributed wind valuation framework to calculate the benefits and costs of wind in St. Mary’s, Alaska to the local electric cooperative and to society, finding that the project does not have a favorable benefit-to-cost ratio unless societal benefits are included, in which case the benefit-to-cost ratio is nearly double. Government funding was important to reducing initial capital expenditures of this wind project and will likely be the case for projects with similar characteristics. Additional fuel savings benefits are potentially possible for this project through technological additions, such as energy storage and advanced controls.

Published: November 4, 2021


Barrows S.E., K. Mongird, B. Naughton, and R. Darbali-Zamora. 2021. Valuation of Distributed Wind in an Isolated System. Energies 14, no. 21:Article No. 6956. PNNL-SA-166260. doi:10.3390/en14216956