The Largest Wind Farms

Wind turbines in this wind farm occupy a significant portion of the cost and utilize the regular wind patterns of this region. (Source: © pedrosala / stock.adobe.com)

Wind turbines in this wind farm occupy a significant portion of the cost and utilize the regular wind patterns of this region.

In the past, wind farms have been established on land predominantly but recently the relative installed capacity of offshore wind farms started to grow. Altogether, the installed capacity of all wind turbines already has crossed the 230,000 MW mark.

Wind farms can be divided into onshore wind farms and offshore wind farms. On land, regions with high mean winds and sparse population are selected. One wind farm can count up to thousands of wind turbines. Construction and connection of the turbines to the grid is relatively simple. Offshore installations in open seas often need to be anchored fairly deep and special underwater cables have to be used to connect them to the grid. Nevertheless, these wind farms enjoy better wind conditions over the sea surface than onshore farms. They are not limited by human dwellings and they do not disturb the environment.

The largest onshore wind farms

Name Installed capacity
[MW]
Location Commissioned Comment
Roscoe Wind Farm 781.5 USA, Texas 2009 627 turbines, 400 km2
Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center 735.5 USA, Texas 2006 421 turbines, 190 km2
Capricorn Ridge Wind Farm 662.5 USA, Texas 2008 407 turbines
Fowler Ridge Wind Farm 599.8 USA, Indiana 2010 355 turbines, 2 stages
Sweetwater Wind Farm 585.3 USA 2007 5 construction stages
Buffalo Gap Wind Farm 523.3 USA, Texas 2008 296 turbines
Dabancheng Wind Farm 500 China    
Vlorë Wind Farm 500 Albania 2010 250 turbines
Panther Creek Wind Farm 458 USA, Texas 2009 305 turbines, 2 stages
Biglow Canyon Wind Farm 450 USA, Oregon 2010 225 turbines, 100 km2

A wind farm in the foothills of a mountain range utilizes the favorable local wind conditions. (Source: © SMP / stock.adobe.com)
10 pictures
Wind turbines and a power distribution station, which connects them to the grid. (Source: © pedrosala / stock.adobe.com)
A wind farm in the mountainous terrain of California, USA. (Source: © BVDC / stock.adobe.com)
Rows of wind turbines producing clean energy (USA). (Source: © Chee-Onn Leong / stock.adobe.com)
10 pictures

Largest offshore wind farms

Name Installed capacity [MW] Location Commissioned Comment
Thanet 300 UK 2010 100 turbines × 3 MW
Horns Rev II 209 Denmark 2009 91 turbines
Rødsand II 207 Denmark 2010 90 turbines
Lynn and Inner Dowsing 194 UK 2008 54 turbines
Robin Rigg (Solway Firth) 180 UK 2010 60 turbines × 3 MW
Gunfleet Sands 172 UK 2010 48 turbines
Nysted (Rødsand I) 166 Denmark 2003 72 turbines
Bligh Bank (Belwind I) 165 Belgium 2010 55 turbines × 3 MW
Horns Rev I 160 Denmark 2002 80 turbines × 2 MW
Princess Amalia 120 Netherlands 2008 60 turbines × 2 MW
A wind turbine with a low-rpm multipolar generator that is connected directly to the rotor, without a gearbox. (Source: © stable101 / stock.adobe.com)

A wind turbine with a low-rpm multipolar generator that is connected directly to the rotor, without a gearbox.

Installed Capacity Growth

The overall installed capacity of wind power plants is growing at an unprecedented rate in the last years and in 2011 the capacity of 230,000 MW was reached. The greatest wind harnessing power in 2010 was China with its 42 GW of installed capacity. The USA is second with 40 GW and Germany is third with its 27 GW, followed by Spain and India.

A high-power electrical transmission tower on the background of a wind turbine. (Source: © pedrosala / stock.adobe.com)
5 pictures
Every wind farm must have a power distribution station, which adapts the produced electricity to the parameters of the grid. (Source: © pedrosala / stock.adobe.com)
About thirty 2 MW wind turbines of the Scroby Sands wind farm, 2.5 km of the shore of Great Yarmouth (England). (Source: © Fokke / stock.adobe.com)
Rotor blades tower segments awaiting construction using a specialized crane. (Source: © luiggi33 / stock.adobe.com)
5 pictures