Several countries, trying to meet climate goals, made renewable energy their ongoing trend.
The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) released the 2021 Global Wind Energy Report in March. This report shows that the global wind industry set a new record in 2020: 93 GW (Gigawatts) of new installations worldwide, an increase of 53% over the previous year.
Today, there are 743 GW of wind power capacity worldwide, helping to avoid more than 1.1 billion tons of CO2.
China and the United States are the two largest wind energy markets in the world. In 2020, they achieved record growth in wind installations, accounting for 75% of new insertions.
The other nations are also not far behind; India possesses the second-largest wind farm in the world.
Here is the index of the top ten largest wind farms in the world:
Table of Contents
1. The Gansu wind farm
The Chinese government built the Gansu wind farm in Gansu province to improve its clean energy sector. At a current capacity of 8 GW, it is the largest onshore wind farm globally and is expected to grow to 20 GW capacity by 2020.
However, the Chinese government halted the construction; therefore, they will install the expected 20 GW capacity by 2022.
The project site is located on the Gobi Desert, southwest of Yumen Town, Jiuquan City, Gansu Province. So it is also known as Wind Energy in Jiuquan.
The first phase of construction began in 2009 with an estimated cost of $ 17.5 billion. It reached 3,800 megawatts and consisted of 18 parks of 200 megawatts and another 2 of 100 megawatts.
Currently, 60 parks of 12,000 megawatts are in operation. For the coordination of all the parks, a control system has been developed.
This system manages and maximizes the energy efficiency and stability of the electricity generated in the turbines, entry into the supply network, and subsequent distribution.
The average yearly wind speed of the wind farm at the height of 70 meters is 7.89 m/s, and the average annual wind power density is 427.5 W/m2. Once the project’s construction is completed, it will save 250,000 tons of standard coal each year.
It will reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 8,071 tons, nitrogen dioxide emissions by 2,290 tons, carbon dioxide emissions by 427,000 tons, carbon monoxide emissions by 58 tons, and smoke and dust emissions by 454,000 tons.
Despite the large amount of electricity it produces, the wind farm is not being adequately utilized. China’s low demand for wind energy and the wind farm’s location away from major cities contributed to the underutilization of wind energy.
|Location||Jiuquan City, Gansu Province, China|
|Current power capacity||8 GW|
|Estimated cost||17.5 billion dollars|
|Number of wind turbines||7000|
2. Jaisalmer Wind Park, India
The second-largest operating onshore wind farm in the world, Jaisalmer, began generating electricity in 2001. It is located in the state of Rajasthan, near the border of India with Pakistan.
The wind farm was a close collaboration between Suzlon, the government, utilities, and local communities.
The construction of the farm started in August 2001, and Suzlon has developed the project with the latest 350 kW model wind turbines to the 2.1 MW S9X as standard.
They achieved a capacity of 1064 MW in April 2012. In 2015, 24 wind turbine generators of 2.1 MW each were installed in Tejuva, bringing total production to 1,300 MW.
Although Suzlon started the project, turbines of all kinds have made Jaisalmer grow. In fact, in 2015, the Spanish company Gamesa contributed 260 MW of inbuilt turbines. The project was completed on April 1, 2021, with a 1600 MW power production capacity.
|Construction start||August 2001|
|Completion date||April 1 2021|
|Total power capacity||1600 MW|
|Total cost||$40.5 million|
|Number of wind turbines||24|
3. Alta Wind Energy Center
This wind farm spans 3,200 acres in the foothills of the Tehachapi Mountains in Kern County, California. It is also known as the Mojave Wind Farm.
It has a current capacity of 1547 MW, making it the third-largest wind farm in the world. It is also the largest onshore wind energy project in the United States.
Terra-Gen Power first owned and developed Mojave Wind Farm, but operations control has been distributed to several companies. Such as NRG Renew, BHE Renewables, EverPower, and Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners.
In 2006, Alta Wind Energy Center signed a 25-year extended agreement with Southern California Edison (SCE) for energy trade.
The creation of the center started in July of 2010 and was completed in April 2011. It embodied 1 to 5 units at the end of the first phase.
The second phase started in early 2011 and was completed in December 2011. It consisted of units 6 to 9. The construction of units 7 to 9 began in April 2012 and was completed in December 2012. The project was completed in 2014 and had 600 turbines in total.
The biggest obstacle to the success of the project was insufficient power transmission capacity. Therefore, the South California Edison local government built a transmission system, the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project. It overcame the obstacle of long-distance transmission and fully exploited the potential of the wind farm.
|Construction start||July 2010|
|Location||Kern County, California, USA|
|Total power capacity||1547 MW|
|Total cost||$ 2.875 billion|
|Number of wind turbines||600|
|Total Area||3200 acres|
4. Muppandal Wind Farm, India
India’s second-largest onshore wind energy project is the Muppandal wind farm, located in Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu.
The wind farm contains 3000 wind turbines to take advantage of the seasonal monsoon winds to reach the production capacity of 1500 MW. It is about 20% of India’s energy needs.
The wind project has significantly reduced India’s dependence on fossil fuels and cut its carbon emissions. It was developed by the state energy development agency Tamil Nadu. The construction of the project started in 2005 and was completed in 2007.
The area where it is located consists of not very fertile land, but it receives strong winds for nine months a year. So the region becomes an ideal terrain for installing all types and brands of wind turbines.
Windmills of Vesta, NEPC India, AMTL, or Suzlon can be seen throughout this region of Tamil Nadu. The impoverished town benefited from the construction of the Muppandal Wind Farm, which supplies electricity to the townspeople and businesses in the area.
The total cost for the development of this project was 2 billion dollars. Since its construction, the project has provided foreign companies with tax incentives to set up wind farms.
|Location||Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Total power capacity||1500 MW|
|Total cost||$ 2 billion|
|Number of wind turbines||3000|
5. Los Vientos Wind Farm
Built in five phases as part of Duke Energy Renewables’ Texas portfolio, the groundbreaking project for Los Vientos commenced in 2012 and was finally completed in August 2016.
The first and second phases of the project began in December 2012 and produced a combined capacity of 402 MW upon completion. The third phase started on May 13, 2015, and mass-produced 200 MW upon completion.
The fourth phase started in August 2016 with the production of 200 MW upon completion. The fifth phase began in December 2015, and upon completion, produced a 110 MW capacity.
The site uses Siemens SWT-2.3-108, Mitsubishi Heavy Industry MWT 102, and Vestas V110 turbines to generate 912 MW, the second largest in the United States.
The power of each phase is currently split between individual utilities: Los Vientos I – CPS Energy, Los Vientos II, III and IV – Austin Energy, and Los Vientos V – Garland Power and Light, Greenville Electric Utility, and Bryan Texas Utilities.
|Construction start||December 2012|
|Completion date||August 2016|
|Total power capacity||912 MW|
|Total cost||$110 million|
|Number of wind turbines||108|
|Total Area||30,000 acres|
6. Shepherds Flat Winds, United States
The Shepherds Flat Wind Farm is situated near Arlington, Eastern Oregon, in the United States. It is the fifth-largest wind farm in the world, with an 845 MW capacity.
Caithness Energy engineers developed the project. It is located between Gilliam and Morrow counties with an area of more than 77 km².
Caithness Energy engineers developed the plan for the project in 2002 with an estimated power production of 105 MW. However, they changed the program in 2004, and they formed a final construction plan in 2006.
In 2008, they submitted a proposal, and in 2009, the construction began with an estimated 2 billion dollars.
It received a loan guarantee of 1 billion dollars from the US Department of Energy in October 2010, becoming the most prominent funding ever carried out globally for constructing a wind farm. In April 2011, Google announced that it had invested $ 100 million in the project.
The wind farm has been operating since September 2012. It is made up of 338 GE2.5XL turbines, each with a nominal capacity of 2.5 MW. The energy produced is supplied to Southern California Edison for distribution.
The wind farm is producing renewable energy sufficient to satisfy the electrical needs of more than 235,000 households. The energy produced can reduce 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 every year.
|Completion date||September 2012|
|Location||Arlington, Eastern Oregon, USA|
|Total power capacity||845 MW|
|Total cost||$ 2 billion|
|Number of wind turbines||338|
|Total Area||19768.4 acres|
7. Meadow Lake Wind Farm
Four hundred fourteen turbines with a combined capacity of 801.25 MW make up the Meadow Lake wind farm in Chalmers, Indiana.
The first phase started in October 2009 in the White district by adding Vestas V82 model wind turbines. The second phase began in June 2010 with the addition of Acciona wind turbines.
The third phase of the project began in October 2010 when Suzlon took over the construction. The fourth and fifth phases started in the same year with extra latest design wind turbines.
It currently has six operational phases, the most recent of which came into operation in 2019. The project has a final target capacity of 1 GW, which would include it in the list of the largest onshore wind farms in the world. The total construction cost of the project was 1.3 billion dollars.
The farm can provide 220,000 homes with a sustainable source of energy. It also supports the local community through payments from landowners and annual investments.
It can save about 1.4 billion gallons of water annually, reduce carbon emissions by replacing the power plants dependent on fossil fuels, and improve the surrounding area’s air quality.
|Construction start||October 2009|
|Location||Chalmers, Indiana, USA|
|Total power capacity||801.25 MW|
|Targeted power generation||1 GW|
|Total cost||$1.3 billion|
|Number of wind turbines||414|
|Total Area||26,000 acres|
8. Roscoe Wind Farm
Roscoe Wind Farm, located near Fort Worth, Texas, was the largest wind farm globally at its completion. With 100,000 acres, the site is nearly as large as California’s Redwood National Park and crosses four Texas counties.
Its 627 turbines (406 Mitsubishi 1 MW, 55 Siemens 2.3 MW, and 166 GE 1.5 MW) make up its 781.5 MW capacity.
Engineers from E.ON Climate & Renewables (EC&R ) developed it. Its construction cost was about $ 1 billion and provided enough energy to power 250,000 average homes.
Roscoe was built in four separate phases, starting in 2008 and ending in late 2009. Specifically, the first phase included the construction of 209 Mitsubishi turbines of 1 MW.
In the second phase, E.ON Climate and Renewables installed 55 Siemens turbines of 2.3 MW. The third and fourth phases integrated 166 GE turbines of 1.5 MW and 197 Mitsubishi turbines of 1 MW.
In total, the developers installed 627 separate wind turbines at a distance of 274 meters. They began operating together at their maximum capacity in October 2009.
|Completion date||October 2009|
|Location||Fort Worth, Texas, USA|
|Total power capacity||781.5 MW|
|Total Area||100,000 acres|
|Total cost||$1 billion|
|Number of wind turbines||627|
9. Horse Hollow Wind Energy Centre
The Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center is located between Taylor and Nolan County in Texas, United States. It has an installed capacity of 735.5 MW.
NextEra Energy Resources engineers operate it. The Engineers built four phases of the facilities during 2005 and 2006, with Blattner Energy engineers responsible for the project’s engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC).
Specifically, in the project’s first three phases, 142 GE 1.5 MW wind turbines, 130 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines, and 149 GE 1.5 MW wind turbines, respectively, were installed.
It now consists of 421 production units (291 GE 1.5MW turbines and 139 2.3MW Siemens turbines) covering an area of almost 47,000 acres.
Since its opening in 2005, the company has annually recorded fluctuations in production rates. However, in 2018 it managed to achieve a record production volume of 2.4 million MWh.
It generates enough energy to meet the electrical needs of nearly 180,000 Texan households.
|Total power capacity||735.5 MW|
|Total Area||47,000 acres|
|Number of wind turbines||560|
10. Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm
The Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm is the initial large-scale wind farm installed in the United States. It has the capacity of producing 710 megawatts with more than 3,400 wind turbines installed on the farm.
Its construction began in the early 1980s, led by James Delsen and the Zond Corporation (now known as GE Wind Energy). They initially faced operational problems as the first Storm Master wind turbines proved unreliable.
Several generations of wind turbines have been installed in the area, including one- and two-blade turbines and a more modern three-blade design with a horizontal axis.
This outline is one of the original large-scale projects of this kind in the country; further development of the area may still take place.
The area, located in the San Joaquin Valley, known as the Tehachapi Wind Resource Zone, is currently the most promising land in California for wind power projects.
|Location||San Joaquin Valley California, USA|
|Total power capacity||710 MW|
|Number of wind turbines||5000|
These are the world’s top ten wind farms operating in 2021. They contribute to the generation of renewable energy sources and decrease the usage of fossil fuel energy resources. They have shown great promise in minimizing non-renewable energy sources’ use.