Community Wind

Community wind is a growing sector of wind development that promises to increase local energy independence and prosperity without contributing to global warming.

Community Wind: A wind project that is a community-owned asset. Community wind projects are owned by a variety of individuals including local small business owners, farmers, local organizations including schools and universities, as well as Native American Tribes, rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, and religious institutions. These projects can range from a single turbine to a community-owned commercial-scale wind farm. 

Community Wind Resources:

  • Wind Basics - Want to go back to the basics? Visit our Wind Basics series to learn the general "know how" of wind energy and wind energy development prior to developing your wind resource.
  • Community Wind Toolbox - Learn the A-Z of a community wind project through our toolbox! The Toolbox contains high-quality practical information for groups looking to develop a commercial-scale community wind project.
  • Community Wind Projects - Although community wind projects are all rooted in local ownership, each project is unique based on circumstances and available resources. You will find other community wind projects to compare and help frame your project in this section.
  • Community Wind Project Resources - Find a comprehensive listing of resources for community wind projects through this resource library section.
  • Benefits of Community Wind - Not convinced that community wind is the way to go, or want to learn more about why it is an important piece of the renewable energy puzzle? Visit this section to learn more about the benefits of community wind.
  • Wind Project Calculator - The calculator, which is part of the Community Wind Toolbox, provides cash flow modeling for community wind projects. Type in your numbers and see the results!

Community Wind: An Overview

Rural landowners who possess windy land currently benefit from the wind resource primarily by leasing their land to large wind developers who sell the wind energy. Others have installed their own wind turbines, individually or through local small businesses including farms, and local organizations such as schools, universities, Native American Tribes, rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, and even religious institutions. These projects keep more dollars in local communities, preserve local energy independence and protect the environment. This is the growing field of community wind.

The key feature of community wind is that local community members own and have a significant financial stake in the project beyond just land lease payments and tax revenue. Community wind projects can be any size, ranging from a single turbine to more than one hundred, yet typically serve local communities or consumers. Community wind projects have been installed throughout the country and are in the planning stages in virtually every state with wind power development underway. The Community Wind Map shows where and how much community wind is operating today.

Installed Community Wind and Wind Capacity in the US

If you would like to learn more about policy surrounding community wind, please visit our Policy and Research section. There you can find helpful resources on local, state, and federal wind policy as well as learn more about Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED).