Community Wind - Resources

County Wind Ordinance Survey

The County Wind Ordinance Survey was designed to help users navigate through the permitting regulations for wind energy development at the local level. The information provided will be useful for all wind developers but specifically targets Community Wind developers who are interested in local permitting and siting rules as well as local officials who are working to develop wind ordinances for their area. This survey provides a single place to access the local permitting and siting rules for a certain area as well as providing additional resources for information relating to wind energy siting, such as wildlife interactions and federal permit requirements.

This survey fills an important role in supporting Community Wind by providing an easily accessible and understandable mechanism that will help rural residents to more easily navigate the local wind energy permitting and siting process and will assist local officials who are working to develop wind ordinances in their area. This first phase of our expanding County Wind Ordinance Survey builds on the research performed by a university intern and focuses on Minnesota because of its leadership in successful Community Wind development.

Read specific information from the survey about Permitting Wind Projects in Minnesota.

Using the County Wind Ordinance Survey

The Windustry County Wind Ordinance Survey provides basic information about each county and a quantitative listing of the wind energy regulations that exist in that county, if applicable. Similarly this resource can provide a listing of the counties that regulate in a particular category. Also included in the survey is a listing of the many other informational resources that are available on permitting of wind energy conversion systems. Phase One of the project focused only on Minnesota counties, however this resource will be expanded to include additional states in the future.

Once you have selected the desired state, there are two ways to search for information:

  1. Search by County: Searching for the regulations by county is particularly useful if you are interested in all the areas of regulation within a particular county. Also, this option allows for county officials to look at what regulations nearby counties or similar counties across the state have found to be important.
  2. Search by Regulation: Searching for county regulations in a particular category is useful for local officials and state regulators who are interested in seeing which counties find a certain category of regulation to be important in their area. View Permitting Regulation Categories in the Windustry Wind Energy Glossary for definitions.
MN County Wind Ordinance Survey
Click above link for interactive tool.

Community Wind 101: A Primer for Policy-makers

Released by the 25' X 25' Alliance, The Energy Foundation and Harvesting Clean Energy, this report makes clear that community wind must be an integral part of the nation's energy strategy and lays out a set of public policies designed to grow local wind investment and ownership.

Specifically, Community Wind 101 finds:

  • Wind power economic benefits from local ownership can be multiplied in the range of two to three times or more compared to standard development models.
  • Community wind can play a pioneering role for all wind power and accelerate wind development by vastly diversifying the range of players who can invest.
  • Smaller investors cannot fully access federal tax incentives vital to wind development. Broadening the usefulness of these incentives and/or targeting incentives to community wind would significantly expand local investment and ownership opportunities.

You can access the excutive summary here and read the full report here.

"Locally Owned Energy Projects: From Conception to Completion" by David Kolsrud

Publication by a developer/farmer/consultant on all the factors to consider and steps to take in proceeding with a community-owned renewable energy project. The paper is aimed at projects in general and is not specific to wind energy. The information is presented in more of a check-list format, rather than as explanations of each step. You can access the publication here.

"Broadening Wind Energy Ownership by Changing Federal Incentives" from the New Rules Project

This April 2008 report from the New Rules Project discusses how simple changes to the federal production tax credit (PTC) and SEC registration process for cooperatives could significantly reduce barriers to community ownership of wind.

Download the report from the New Rules website here: http://www.newrules.org/de/ptc-wind-ownership.pdf

"Wind Energy Guide for County Commissioners" from NACO

This guide from the National Association of Counties was released in November, 2006. According to the NACO website, "this publication is designed to provide county commissioners, planners, and other local county government officials with a practical overview of information required to successfully implement commercial wind energy projects in their county."

Click here to download the guide from the NACO website.

 

Wind Energy Siting Handbook from AWEA

According to the AWEA website, "The Wind Energy Siting Handbook was developed by the AWEA Siting Committee to inform wind energy developers and other interested parties about environmental siting issues relevant to land-based commercial-scale wind energy project development in the United States.

"This handbook has been designed to provide technical information and useful tools based on the industry’s collective experience in siting wind energy projects and assessing potential impacts."

Click here to go to the AWEA website to download this 178-page document.

New Report from ILSR: "Minnesota Feed-In Tariff Could Lower Cost, Boost Renewables and Expand Local Ownership"

This January 2008 policy brief from the New Rules Project of ILSR highlights how several European countries, and more recently the Canadian province of Ontario, have adopted a simple yet powerful strategy to expand renewable energy and benefit local economies. It is called a feed-in tariff: a mandated, long-term premium price for renewable energy paid by the local electric utility to energy producers. Evidence shows that a feed-in tariff achieves greater results at a lower cost than do other strategies like tax incentives or renewable electricity standards.

Click here to go to the New Rules Project website and download a copy of the report.

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