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Where the Wind Farms Are

In February (2014) the USGS published an interactive map of the wind farms in the U.S., through July 2013. If you have a fast connection you can drill down and get information about the turbines and specific locations of the wind farms and of the individual turbines. For more on this USGS effort, click here

Click on the map to go directly to it.

Minnesota Wind Resource Estimator - Small Wind

The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Energy Division, provides a very useful tool for estimating the average annual wind speed 100 feet (30 meters) up for any location in the state. This interactive tool is ideal for anyone considering a small (home or farm scale) wind system, as the value can be input into our small wind financial calculator to find out whether a wind project will be financially rewarding. They call the tool a "Wind Speed Verification Tool".

The tool is available here.

Distributed Wind Energy Association

The Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) is a collaborative group comprised of manufacturers, distributors, project developers, dealers, installers, and advocates, whose primary mission is to promote and foster all aspects of the American distributed wind energy industry. Distributed wind, commonly referred to as small and community wind, is the use of typically smaller wind turbines at homes, farms, businesses, and public facilities to off-set all or a portion of on-site energy consumption.

Minnesota Wind Resource Maps

Minnesota Wind Map

The first step for planning a wind energy project is determining if you have enough wind to justify the expense of the system and the time and expense of operating and maintaining your equipment.

Wind Powering America provides high-resolution wind maps and estimates of the wind resource potential. The Department of Energy's Wind Program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published a wind resource map for the state of Minnesota. The wind resource map shows the predicted mean annual wind speeds at 80-m height for commercial wind farms and Community Wind projects.

Wind Powering America Minnesota Wind Map

The Minnesota Department of Commerce provides wind maps developed for the Department by WindLogics, a Minnesota company that is at the leading edge of wind resource assessment using atmospheric modeling. These 2006 maps show the wind speed resources at 30, 80, and 100 meters, as well as capacity factor and energy production estimates for a 1.65 MW wind turbine at 80 meters.

Minnesota Department of Commerce Wind Maps

For other states, see the Wind Powering America website.

Small Wind Certification Council

Small Wind Certification Council logo

The Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC) is an independent organization that assesses and issues certificates and consumer labels for the performance and safety of small wind turbines in accordance with criteria established in the AWEA Standard. SWCC Certification is based on an evaluation of the wind turbine design (Structural Analysis) and field testing (Power performance test, Acoustic sound test, Safety & Function test, and Duration test). Eligible turbines are currently defined as electricity-producing wind turbines with a swept area up to 200 m2 (approximately 50-65 kW).

With SWCC certification, consumers can compare products, and funding agencies and utilities will gain greater confidence that small turbines installed with public assistance have been tested for safety, function, performance and durability and meet requirements of consensus standards. Certification helps prevent unethical marketing and false claims, ensuring consumer protection and industry credibility. 

SWCC assesses applications and issues certificates for performance and safety of wind turbines in accordance with the AWEA Standard. Applicants begin the process by submitting a Notice of Intent to Submit an Application where the details of the wind turbine and proposed test plans are presented. After the turbine has been tested and evaluated per the AWEA standard and reporting is complete, the certification applicant submits a test report and other application materials to SWCC to complete the application process.

The SWCC Certification Commission makes the final certification decision. Once a product has been certified, SWCC issues a summary report, which contains the Rated Annual Energy, Rated Power and Rated Sound Level as well as other technical information. The report also notes that the turbine meets the durability and safety requirements of the AWEA Standard. 

For more information visit the SWCC website.

REDI Resources

Clean Energy Project Builder

Clean Energy Project Builder (formerly REDI Resources) is an online directory of community and small wind, and solar power companies from all over the United States who serve Minnesota’s clean energy industry. The directory allows you to browse companies; to search by specific services like engineering, operations & maintenance, or legal services; to find companies near you using geographic search; and to find companies through a range of other details like service area, number of employees, or completed project capacity.

Clean Energy Project Builder is a long-term resource provided through the collaborative efforts of the Southwest Initiative Foundation, Clean Energy Resource Teams, The Minnesota Project, and Windustry.

Association of Minnesota Counties

The Association of Minnesota Counties is a voluntary statewide organization that assists the state’s 87 counties in providing effective county governance to the people of Minnesota. It is the mission of the Association to assist in the provision of effective county governance for the people of Minnesota. The association works closely with the legislative and administrative branches of government in seeing that legislation and policies favorable to counties are enacted. In addition, the Association provides educational programs, training, research and communications for county officials. 

Small Wind Energy State Rebate Programs

Some states have rebates for Small Wind Energy Systems, and the number of programs have increased with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

If your state is not listed below, then check the the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) web site to review programs for your state.

California

Emerging Renewables Program
California Energy Commission - Consumer Energy Center

Illinois

Solar And Wind Energy Rebate Program
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

Massachusetts

Commonwealth Wind Incentive Program
Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust

Minnesota

Minnesota Small Wind Turbine Rebate for Residences
Minnesota Office of Energy Security

New Jersey

Renewable Energy Incentive Program
New Jersey's Clean Energy Program

New York

On-Site or Small Wind Incentives
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

DSIRE

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency

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