What with all the work done by the FAA recently on regulating drone usage, I thought it would be nice to turn my eyes to the sky for another, less-known type of aerial denizen: the aerial wind turbine.
Wikipedia has all the relevant information, so I won't rehash it here. The most important thing here is that aerial wind turbines - and I'm mostly interested in aerostat-based designs - are free-floating, just like certain types of tethered drones, which have given the FAA headaches because they're not like most aircraft.
I did find this article, which says
Regulations and technological restrictions suggest it may not happen very soon, or at all, but some researchers believe aerial turbines will be tapping high-altitude winds for power generation sometime in our future and perhaps within the decade.
That said, companies currently working on the project seem very loosely formed. They are in the development phase and are aware of federal airspace restrictions.
Here's the relevant FAA page.
I suspect that FAA regulatory measures on drones cover aerial wind turbines, but I'm not positive, and I'd like to see some specific mention of them in regulations, if possible. I assume they're treated as (tethered) drones, but I haven't been able to find any direct mention.
Getting to the point: Aerial wind turbines are, in general, much smaller than typical wind turbines. There are obviously some factors that make it easier for wind turbines built on the ground to be larger (support, for instance). But larger turbine blades, while a source of trade-offs, can be much more helpful.
What regulations (in the United States), if any, limit the size of aerial wind turbines?