Commercial (Large) Scale

Is leasing my land to a wind developer my only option?

No. While leasing land to wind developers is still the most common way for landowners to get involved with wind energy, more and more farmers, landowners, schools, municipal utilities, and rural communities are developing projects and owning the turbines themselves.

These projects keep significantly more of the economic benefits of wind development in the local community. However, developing and owning a project yourself involves quite a bit more time and research as well as financial risk. You have to balance risk and reward.

For more information about different models of community-owned wind energy projects, check out some case studies in our resource library. Also read our Introduction to Wind Development and Know Your Business Structure factsheets in our Wind Basics series to find out how your community can start a wind energy project.

Harvest the Wind: A Wind Energy Handbook for Illinois

This handbook was prepared by Windustry for the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois and published January 1, 2004. The purpose of this handbook is to inform the reader about wind as a resource for generating electricity, with emphasis on Illinois as a potential host for small-scale and large-scale projects. It addresses how to assess the value of wind, the wind energy options available for landowners and communities to consider, and sources of financial assistance. Case studies are included to illustrate what has been done to develop this resource in Illinois and neighboring states. Find it the Illinois Website  download here.

Rosebud Sioux Tribe, SD: Community Wind Project

From the US Department of Energy Cast Study on wind development on the Rosebud Reservation:

"Since the late 1990s, the tribe has been actively pursuing wind development on the Rosebud Reservation. In March 2003, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe commissioned a single 750 kW NEGMicon Vestas wind turbine, which has come to be known as the Little Soldier (Akicita Cikala) turbine, in respect to the vision of Alex "Little Soldier" Lunderman and his contribution to this effort. This turbine was the result of a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant awarded in late 1999, along with a matching U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service Loan. With the assistance of a developer and the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy (ICOUP), the RST applied for and received a DOE grant to develop a 30 MW wind farm. This resulted in the development of the Owl Feather War Bonnet Wind Farm. After five years, this wind farm's development is almost complete, with the exception of a signed power purchase agreement (PPA) and the resulting interconnection agreement. This signed agreement will enable the completion of the wind farm. The RST shall act as a passive landowner, reaping a percentage of gross receipts based on Grant of Use and Lease Agreement agreed upon by action of the RST Tribal Council and the Bureau of Indian Affairs."

 

2010 Project Update

"The Rosebud Sioux Tribe (RST) and Citizens Wind will complete the required pre-construction activities necessary to secure funding for the proposed 190 MW North Antelope Highlands wind farm, including identification of power purchasers, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) permitting requirements, transmission and interconnection studies, and subsequent interconnection agreements required to deliver energy to a specific set of potential purchasers. This project will result in delivery of all required environmental and cultural studies, permits and contracts sufficient to secure project financing."

 

Read more about Tribal Energy Programs at the US Dept of Energy

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