Community Wind Can Play Big Role In Nation’s 20% Wind Goal

Wind industry consultant Tom Wind says community wind can be an important part of obtaining 20% of the nation's electricity from wind by the year 2030.

According to Wind, community wind will play a large role in the U.S.' wind energy future because of the long-term benefits associated with community ownership. He says a community can invest in its own energy resource – bringing the benefits of the wind turbine home.

‘It produces electricity at a nice stable cost that's not subject to inflation and is not subject to increasing prices for fossil fuels such as oil or gas or coal,’ says Wind, of Wind Utility Consulting. ‘So, if a community can invest in a wind turbine, then in the long run, that is who is going to benefit most from that wind turbine.’

Keeping the benefits in the local community, Wind says, will ultimately increase public acceptance of the presence of wind turbines, which he says is needed in order to have large-scale wind generation in the states.

The community wind model has already taken off in states like Minnesota and Iowa, he adds.

‘Those two states have enacted policies or passed laws or bills that encourage and incentivize these local projects,’ notes Wind. ‘For example, they have a mandate for utilities in the state of Minnesota to buy power from locally owned or community-owned wind projects at a price that is higher than the price that those utilities would buy power from a larger wind farm. And they justify this higher price based on the economic benefits that these community wind projects would bring to those local communities.’

SOURCE: Wind Powering America Â

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