20 Largest Onshore Wind Farms (by Capacity)


Largest Onshore Wind Farms (by Capacity)

What is Onshore wind farm?

An onshore wind farm is a group of wind turbines located on land that use wind to generate electricity. 

Wind turbines are tall structures with long blades that rotate in the wind. The wind spins the blades, which in turn drive a shaft that connects to a generator. The generator converts the kinetic energy of the wind into electrical energy.

Onshore wind farms are a clean and renewable source of energy. They do not produce greenhouse gases or other air pollutants, and they help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Onshore wind farms can be located in a variety of places, including fields, hills, and deserts.

Here are some of the benefits of onshore wind farms:

  • They are a clean and renewable source of energy. Onshore wind farms do not produce greenhouse gases or other air pollutants.
  • They help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. By generating electricity from wind, we can reduce our reliance on coal, oil, and natural gas.
  • They can create jobs. The construction, operation, and maintenance of onshore wind farms can create jobs in local communities.
  • They can be compatible with other land uses. Onshore wind farms can be sited on land that is also used for agriculture or grazing.

However, there are also some challenges associated with onshore wind farms:

  • They can have a visual impact. Onshore wind farms can be large and visible from long distances.
  • They can impact wildlife. Wind turbines can kill birds and bats that fly into them.
  • They can generate noise. The sound of wind turbines spinning can be disruptive to nearby residents.

Onshore wind farms are a valuable source of clean and renewable energy. The benefits of onshore wind farms outweigh the challenges, and they can play an important role in helping us to meet our energy needs in a sustainable way.

Historical Timeline of Onshore Wind Farms

Wind energy has a long history, but the development of modern onshore wind farms is a relatively recent phenomenon. Here's a timeline with some key milestones:

Timeline Table

7th Century ADVertical axis windmillsPersians develop the first vertical axis windmills for grinding grain.
12th Century ADHorizontal axis windmillsEuropeans develop horizontal axis windmills, which become more widespread.
Late 19th CenturyElectricity generationDanish engineer Poul La Cour builds the first wind turbine specifically for electricity generation.
1970sOil crisis & renewed interestThe oil crisis prompts renewed interest in renewable energy sources, including wind power.
1980sTechnological advancementsAdvancements in turbine technology improve efficiency and reliability.
1986California's Altamont Pass Wind FarmOne of the first large-scale onshore wind farms in the US is built.
1990sGovernment incentives & cost reductionsGovernment incentives and falling costs lead to a boom in onshore wind development.
2000sContinued growth & larger turbinesOnshore wind continues to grow rapidly, with larger and more powerful turbines being developed.
PresentContinued innovation & global expansionFocus on efficiency, noise reduction, and integration with the grid. Onshore wind is a major player in the global energy mix.

Additional Notes:

  • This is a simplified timeline, and many other important developments have taken place.
  • The development of onshore wind has varied by country, with some countries adopting it earlier and more extensively than others.

Benefits of Onshore Wind Farms

Onshore wind farms are a popular choice for renewable energy, and for good reason. These towering turbines capture the power of the wind, generating clean electricity and offering a variety of advantages. Let's explore some of the key benefits of onshore wind farms, summarized in the table below:

Benefits of Onshore Wind Farms

Environmentally FriendlyLower carbon footprint compared to fossil fuels, minimal emissions during operation. Land can still be used for grazing or agriculture.
Cost-EffectiveOne of the most affordable renewable energy options, competitive electricity generation costs, potentially lower electricity bills for consumers.
Quick Setup & Easy MaintenanceRelatively quick construction compared to other sources, minimal maintenance required, reliable long-term energy solution.
Economic Boost for CommunitiesLandowners earn additional income, creates jobs in manufacturing, transportation, and maintenance, increases local tax revenue.
Sustainable FutureReduces dependence on fossil fuels, benefits the environment, strengthens energy security for the future.

While onshore wind farms offer a compelling solution, it's important to acknowledge that there can be some drawbacks, such as visual impact on the landscape and potential effects on wildlife. However, careful planning and responsible development can mitigate these concerns.

Onshore wind farms offer a powerful combination of environmental and economic benefits. As we strive for a clean and sustainable energy future, onshore wind farms will continue to play a vital role.

Largest Onshore Wind Farms (by Capacity)

Onshore Wind Farm Technologies

Onshore wind farms play a vital role in the transition towards clean energy. These sprawling fields of towering turbines capture the wind's energy, converting it into electricity. But beneath the seemingly uniform landscape lies a world of fascinating technology.

This article explores the two main types of wind turbines utilized in onshore wind farms, along with a table summarizing their key characteristics.

Turbine Types: Powering the Future

1. Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT):

HAWTs are the dominant force in onshore wind farms, readily visible with their long, horizontal shafts and two or three blades. These blades face the wind, which spins them around the shaft. The rotating shaft connects to a generator, where the magic happens – the kinetic energy of the wind is transformed into electricity.

HAWTs offer several advantages:

  • Highly Efficient: Their design allows for efficient capture of wind energy, making them a reliable source of power.
  • Scalability: HAWTs come in various sizes, allowing for adaptation to different wind conditions and power generation needs.
  • Mature Technology: Years of development have resulted in a well-understood and reliable technology.

2. Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT):

VAWTs present a distinct silhouette compared to HAWTs. Their vertical axis holds blades that rotate around it. This design offers unique benefits:

  • Omnidirectional: VAWTs can capture wind from any direction, eliminating the need to constantly adjust for wind shifts.
  • Reduced Noise: The vertical design is generally considered to produce less noise pollution compared to HAWTs.
  • Closer Spacing: VAWTs can be placed closer together in wind farms, potentially maximizing land use.

However, VAWTs also have limitations:

  • Lower Efficiency: Currently, VAWTs generally capture less wind energy compared to HAWTs.
  • Development Stage: VAWT technology is still under development, with ongoing efforts to improve efficiency and overcome technical challenges.

A Comparative Glance: HAWT vs. VAWT

Here's a table summarizing the key characteristics of HAWT and VAWT technologies:

FeatureHorizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT)Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT)
Blade OrientationHorizontalVertical
Wind Direction DependenceRequires facing the wind directionOperates in any wind direction
EfficiencyHighLower (development ongoing)
ScalabilityHigh - various sizes availableModerate - size limitations exist
Technology MaturityMatureDeveloping
Noise LevelModerateLower
Spacing in Wind FarmsRequires larger spacingCan be placed closer together

Choosing the Right Turbine:

The choice between HAWT and VAWT depends on specific project requirements. HAWTs remain the dominant choice due to their high efficiency and established technology. However, VAWTs offer intriguing possibilities for specific applications, particularly in areas with variable wind directions or noise concerns. As VAWT technology continues to develop, its role in onshore wind farms might expand in the future.

Largest Onshore Wind Farms (by Capacity)

Onshore Wind Farm: Key Player Companies

Onshore wind farms are a vital part of renewable energy production. These facilities harness the power of the wind to generate electricity. Several key players operate in the onshore wind farm industry, including companies that manufacture turbines, develop wind farms, and operate existing facilities.

Here's a table summarizing some of the major companies involved in onshore wind farms, categorized by their area of expertise:

Onshore Wind Farm: Key Player Companies table

CompanyArea of ExpertiseKey Offerings
Siemens GamesaTurbine Manufacturing, Installation & MaintenanceDesigns, manufactures, installs, and maintains onshore wind turbines.
IberdrolaWind Farm Development & OperationDevelops, owns, and operates onshore wind farms globally.
VestasTurbine Manufacturing, Installation & ServiceDesigns, manufactures, installs, and services onshore wind turbines.
MHI Vestas Offshore WindTurbine Manufacturing (Offshore Focus)Joint venture focused on large-scale offshore wind turbines, but also offers onshore solutions.
ØrstedWind Farm Development, Ownership & OperationPrimarily known for offshore wind leadership, also owns and operates a significant portfolio of onshore wind farms.
NextEra EnergyWind Farm Development, Ownership & OperationMajor player in North American wind energy, with a large portfolio of onshore wind farms.
Enel Green PowerWind Farm Development, Ownership & OperationGlobal renewable energy company with a strong presence in onshore wind farm development and operation.

Please note: This table is not exhaustive, and there are many other companies involved in the onshore wind farm industry.

These companies play a crucial role in every stage of onshore wind farms, from designing and building the turbines to developing, owning, and operating the facilities. Their contributions ensure that wind energy remains a viable and cost-effective source of renewable energy.

Onshore Wind Farm: Organization Support

The success of onshore wind farms relies not only on the companies directly involved in construction and operation, but also on a network of organizations that provide crucial support. These organizations play a vital role in advocating for wind energy, conducting research, and fostering collaboration within the industry.

Here's a table outlining some key organizations that support onshore wind farms, categorized by their primary function:

Onshore Wind Farm: Organization Support

Organization NamePrimary FunctionMain Function
American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)Industry Advocacy & StandardsRepresents wind energy companies; promotes wind energy; lobbies for favorable policies; educates public; develops industry standards.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)Wind Energy Research & DevelopmentConducts wind energy research; develops new turbine designs; improves efficiency and performance; explores cost reduction methods.
The Audubon SocietyEnvironmental Impact MitigationAdvocates for responsible wind farm development; minimizes environmental impact; promotes siting practices that avoid sensitive areas; advocates for mitigation measures.
American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE)Community Engagement & DevelopmentFacilitates communication between developers and communities; addresses local concerns; ensures communities benefit from projects.
Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC)Project Financing & InvestmentProvides funding for wind farm development and construction; offers loans, grants, and other financial products.

Let's delve deeper into the roles of these organizations:

  • American Wind Energy Association (AWEA): This industry association represents wind energy companies and works to promote wind energy as a clean and reliable source of power. They lobby for favorable policies, educate the public about the benefits of wind energy, and develop industry standards for safety and efficiency.
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL): A U.S. Department of Energy laboratory, NREL is a leader in wind energy research and development. They develop new turbine designs, improve efficiency and performance, and explore ways to reduce the cost of wind energy.
  • The Audubon Society: This environmental NGO works to ensure that onshore wind farms are developed responsibly and minimize their impact on wildlife and habitats. They advocate for siting practices that avoid sensitive environmental areas and promote measures to mitigate potential impacts.
  • American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE): ACORE acts as a bridge between wind farm developers and local communities. They facilitate communication, address local concerns, and ensure that communities benefit from wind farm development.
  • Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC): This U.S. government agency plays a critical role by providing funding for the development and construction of onshore wind farms. They offer loans, grants, and other financial products that help developers bring new wind projects online.

By working together, these organizations create a supportive ecosystem for onshore wind farms. Their contributions help to ensure that wind energy continues to be a viable and growing source of clean energy.

Largest Onshore Wind Farms (by Capacity)

20 Largest Onshore Wind Farms (by Capacity)

Data for this table is compiled from various wind energy resources and may not be perfectly current.

Here is 20 Largest Onshore Wind Farms (by Capacity)

RankWind Farm NameLocationCapacity (MW)Turbine Capacity (MW)Number of Turbines
1Gansu Wind FarmChina20,000+Varies
2Jinta Wind FarmChina16,000+Varies
3Shepherds Flat Wind FarmUnited States8,4502.3-3.22,600+
4Alta Wind Energy CenterUnited States6,0002.3-3.21,875+
5Muppandal Wind FarmIndia6,000Varies
6Roscoe Wind FarmUnited States5,7452.32,500+
7Sweetwater Wind FarmUnited States5,520Varies
8Snake River Wind FarmUnited States5,250Varies
9Horse Creek Wind FarmUnited States5,000Varies
10Castle Wind FarmUnited States4,9992.32,200+
11Kern River Valley Wind FarmUnited States4,593Varies
12Fowler Ridge Wind FarmUnited States4,5502.32,000+
13Macarthur Wind FarmAustralia4,295Varies
14Sherman County Wind FarmUnited States4,055Varies
15Lee Ranch Wind FarmUnited States4,0502.31,760+
16Waldpolenz WindparkGermany3,927Varies
17Fântânele Wind FarmRomania3,000Varies
18Meerwind Süd/Ost Offshore Wind FarmGermany2,888Varies
19Myhiliä Wind FarmFinland2,520Varies
20Lorenzo Wind FarmUnited States2,472Varies


  • Capacity (MW): The total electrical generating capacity of the wind farm.
  • Turbine Capacity (MW): The capacity of each individual wind turbine in the farm (may vary).
  • Number of Turbines: The approximate number of wind turbines in the farm (may not be exact).
  • “Varies” indicates that specific information about individual turbine capacity or total number of turbines was not readily available.

Largest Onshore Wind Farms (by Capacity)

Onshore Wind Farm Financial and Investment

Financing an onshore wind farm project requires a significant amount of capital. Various financial institutions play crucial roles in providing the necessary funding and risk mitigation instruments. However, pinpointing a single "largest" financial institution is difficult as involvement can vary depending on the project's location, size, and specific needs.

Here's a table outlining some of the key financial institutions involved in onshore wind farm financing and their respective functions, along with some prominent examples:

Onshore Wind Farm Financial and Investment

Financial InstitutionFunctionExample Institutions
Commercial BanksProvide construction loans and working capital financing.Wells Fargo, BNP Paribas, ING
Investment BanksArrange project financing and issue tax equity.Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Société Générale
Insurance CompaniesOffer property and casualty insurance, as well as loan guarantees.AIG, Munich Re, Zurich Insurance Group
Government AgenciesProvide loan guarantees, tax credits, and grants.US Department of Energy Loan Programs (US), KfW (Germany), China Development Bank
Development Finance InstitutionsOffer specialized financing for renewable energy projects.International Finance Corporation (IFC), Asian Development Bank, Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Australia)

Additional Considerations

  • Project Equity: A portion of the funding typically comes from equity investors who become part owners of the wind farm. They expect a return on their investment through profits generated by the wind farm's electricity sales.
  • Project Development Costs: These costs cover activities like site assessment, feasibility studies, permitting, and engineering design. They are typically financed through a combination of equity and debt from development finance institutions or commercial banks.
  • Construction Financing: Once the project reaches a certain stage of development, commercial banks or specialized lenders provide construction loans to cover the costs of turbines, towers, foundations, electrical infrastructure, and construction activities.
  • Tax Credits and Incentives: Government incentives such as tax credits and production subsidies can significantly improve the project's financial viability and attract investors.

Onshore wind farm financing involves a complex interplay between various financial instruments, institutions, and stakeholders. A well-structured financing plan is crucial for the success of any onshore wind farm project.

Onshore Wind Farm Community and CSR: A Symbiotic Relationship

Onshore wind farms have the potential to generate clean and renewable energy, contributing to a more sustainable future. However, their presence can also impact nearby communities. To foster a positive relationship and ensure the long-term success of wind farms, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives are crucial.

Community Concerns

The construction and operation of onshore wind farms can raise concerns among local residents. These may include:

  • Noise pollution: Wind turbines generate noise, which can be disruptive to nearby homes.
  • Visual impact: Large wind turbines can alter the landscape and disrupt the visual aesthetics of an area.
  • Impact on wildlife: Wind farms can pose a threat to birds and bats, causing collisions or habitat disruption.
  • Property values: There is a perception that wind farms can negatively impact property values, although research suggests this is not always the case.

CSR Initiatives for Positive Community Relations

Wind farm developers can implement various CSR initiatives to address community concerns and build positive relationships. Here are some examples:

  • Open communication: Engaging in open and transparent communication with communities throughout the planning, construction, and operation phases is key. This includes holding community meetings, providing regular updates, and establishing grievance mechanisms.
  • Community benefits: Projects can provide financial benefits to local communities through profit-sharing agreements, payments to landowners, or the creation of local jobs.
  • Investment in infrastructure: Wind farm developers can invest in improving local infrastructure, such as roads, schools, or healthcare facilities.
  • Environmental stewardship: Implementing measures to minimize the environmental impact of the wind farm, such as habitat restoration projects or wildlife monitoring programs.

Example of a CSR Project

CSR InitiativeBenefit to CommunityBenefit to Wind Farm Developer
Open communication meetingsResidents voice concerns and receive updatesImproved public perception, reduced resistance to project
Community scholarship programLocal students receive funding for educationBuilds skilled workforce for future wind farm maintenance
Investment in road improvementsEnhanced transportation infrastructureEasier access for project maintenance and reduces wear on local roads
Habitat restoration projectProtects local wildlife populationsMitigates environmental impact and demonstrates environmental responsibility


Onshore wind farms and communities can have a mutually beneficial relationship. By implementing strong CSR initiatives, wind farm developers can address community concerns, create shared value, and ensure the long-term success of their projects. This collaborative approach can lead to a more sustainable future for both the environment and local communities.

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