Community Wind Defined
Community Wind, in which local ownership play a major role, is one of the fastest growing markets in the U.S. According to the American Wind Energy Association's U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report in 2009, there were over 50 different community wind projects installed representing roughly 5.6 percent of the wind power capacity installed for the year.
Farmers, ranchers, landowners, consumer-owned utilities, school districts, universities and native tribes are installing wind energy projects with sizes ranging from single wind turbines to wind farms with hundreds of megawatts of capacity.
Community wind projects are owned locally but they can also be owned by IPP’s, utilities or privately. Community wind project are sized from 100KW to 100MW and provide benefits to the local community in addition to lease payments and/or tax payments, either through a component of local ownership or though use of the electricity on-site. Read the Community Wind Policy Position to learn more.
Snapshot of Community Wind
- Represents 5.6% of installed wind in US (1,521MW)
- Vastly diversifies the number of people and institutions that can participate and benefit from wind development
- Increases community support for siting new wind projects
- Broadens the investor and political base for wind power
- Strengthens local power distribution grid by putting supply near the load