Community Wind Energy

Wind energy projects that include local financial participation and control are called “community wind” projects. Community wind projects can encompass a wide range of sizes and project types, such as:

  • 1 -to 100-kilowatt net-metered systems powering homes, farms, ranches, and businesses
  • Mid-size turbines at schools and businesses
  • Wind-diesel projects in remote locations
  • Multi-megawatt wind farms owned by rural electric cooperatives and municipal utilities
  • Large wind farms operating under an independent power producer arrangement.


More Information

Cherokee Chronicle Times. (July 12, 2013). Landowner Wind Energy Association Interest Rising. Cherokee, Iowa.

Clean Energy States Alliance. Supporting Onsite Distributed Wind Generation Projects (PDF 198 KB). This state program guide identifies program elements and policies that states may wish to consider in encouraging on-site wind projects.

Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE). DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Environmental Law & Policy Center. Community Wind Financing (PDF 1.3 MB) is a handbook that provides information on ownership structures, roles of financial intermediaries, and sources of federal and state financial support.

German Wind Energy Association (BWE). Community Wind Power: Local Energy for Local People (PDF 4 MB)

Harvest Clean Energy. Community Wind 101: A Primer for Policymakers (PDF 1 MB) is based on a survey and synopsis of the best literature in the field.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (2009). Economic Development Impacts of Community Wind Projects: A Review and Empirical Evaluation (PDF 632 KB)

This report provides a review of previous economic development analyses of community wind projects and compares these projected results with empirical impacts from projects currently in operation.

Northwest SEED. Northwest SEED produced Community Wind: An Oregon Guidebook (PDF 15 MB) for the Energy Trust of Oregon to facilitate successful, cost-effective community wind development that provides measurable benefits for Oregon’s environment and local economies.

Pike Research. Renewable Distributed Energy Generation explores the global market opportunity for technologies including distributed solar PV, small wind power, and stationary fuel cells.

REnew Economy. Podcast: How a U.S. Community Wind Farm Won 600 Investors. Learn how a South Dakota wind project added local investors to the mix.

Schindler, Kurt H. (January 21, 2014). “Not all proposed large wind energy farms are controversial, and there may be reasons why: Part One.” Michigan State University Extension.

Schindler, Kurt H. (January 21, 2014). “Strategies to reach consensus on controversial wind energy farms: Part Two.” Michigan State University Extension.

Superior Watershed Partnership and Land Trust. Community Wind Power: A Guide for Upper Peninsula Communities (PDF 1.3 MB) is designed to help community wind proponents explore the idea of developing a wind energy project that provides the benefits of renewable wind energy to their community.

U.S. Department of Energy. The Department offers many information resources related to community wind, including two fact sheets: Community Wind Benefits (PDF 386 KB) andCommunity Wind Myths (PDF 208 KB). The Department also produced 2012 Market Report on Wind Technologies in Distributed Applications (PDF 7.6 MB)

Windustry. Minnesota-based Windustry offers community wind information for farmers and rural landowners looking to develop commercial-scale wind projects, including a Community Wind Toolbox and a wind project calculator.


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