Community Wind

Community stakeholders have started to evaluate wind development as a way to diversify and revitalize rural economies. Schools, universities, farmers, Native American tribes, small businesses, rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, and religious centers have installed their own wind projects. Although community wind projects can be of any size, they are usually commercial in scale with capacities greater than 500 kW, and they are connected on either side of the meter. Community wind includes both on-site wind turbines used to offset customer’s loads and wholesale wind generation sold to a third party.

Community wind is likely to advance wind power market growth because it has the following advantages:

  • Strengthens communities: Locally owned and controlled wind development substantially broadens local tax bases and generates new income for farmers, landowners, and communities.
  • Galvanizes support: Local ownership and increased local impacts broaden support for wind energy, engage rural and economic development interests, and build a larger constituency with a direct stake in the industry’s success. Local investments and local impacts produce local advocates.