Studies on social acceptance of wind power projects typically evaluate wind power in isolation, or as a choice between wind and no wind. However, at a societal level, the choice is not limited to whether, how or where wind turbines should be sited, but whether society should generate electricity by wind or from some other source. Consequently, it is important to understand whether those living near local wind projects prefer them relative to other local power projects. Here, we show that approximately 90% of individuals in the United States who live within 8 km of a wind turbine prefer their local wind project to a centralized power plant sited a similar distance away. Wind is also preferred three to one over solar among the approximately two-thirds who have a preference. These results are relatively consistent across states with different characteristics, suggesting a strong social preference for wind turbines among their neighbours.