Wind energy offers many financial, environmental, and social benefits to the communities and individuals who choose to get involved with it. Developing a wind project, however, can be a time-consuming and complex process. Before beginning, you will want to familiarize yourself with all of the necessary steps and gain a solid understanding of the elements of a wind project.
This 2006 report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory assesses the direct economic impacts of constructing new electricity from wind, coal and natural gas in three different states. Initial results showed that new electricity generation from wind could be more economically effective than adding new electricity generation from gas or coal power and that new wind electricity generation keeps more dollars local.
- A wind map of North Dakota
- North Dakota Wind Energy Activities (from Wind Powering America)
- Incentives for Renewable Energy in North Dakota
Other organizations doing work with wind energy in North Dakota:
- Dakota Resource Council
- The Energy and Environment Center at the University of North Dakota
- Plains Organization for Wind Energy Resources
- The Sacred Heart Monestary in Richardton, ND
- The North Dakota Department of Commerce
- Prairie Climate Stewardship Network
- North Dakota Department of Commerce
- North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center
A Comparative Analysis of Business Structures Suitable for Farmer-Owned Wind Power Projects in the United States (November 2004) was prepared for the Wind & Hydropower Technologies Program, U.S. Department of Energy, by Mark Bolinger and Ryan Wise.
For years, farmers in the United States have looked with envy on their European counterparts' ability to profitably farm the wind through ownership of distributed, utility-scale wind projects. Only within the past few years, however, has farmer- or community-owned wind power development become a reality in the United States. The primary hurdle to this type of development in the United States has been devising and implementing suitable business and legal structures that enable such projects to take advantage of tax-based federal incentives for wind power. This article discusses the limitations of such incentives in supporting farmer- or community-owned wind projects, describes four ownership structures that potentially overcome such limitations, and finally conducts comparative financial analysis on those four structures, using as an example a hypothetical 1.5 MW farmer-owned project located in the state of Oregon.
Published by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) in September 2004, this report examines the amount of electricity generated by U.S. wind power and prospects for its growth, the contribution of wind power to farmers' income and rural communities, the advantages and disadvantages for farmers of owning a wind power project versus leasing land for a project, and USDA's efforts to promote wind power in rural communities.
“Wind Power's Contribution to Electric Power Generation and Impact on Farms and Rural Communities Wind power provides electricity without polluting the air or depleting nonrenewable resources. Wind power relies on steady winds to turn the blades of power-generating turbines. Because these turbines generally are located on rural lands, wind power could also provide economic benefits to farmers and rural communities.”