From the newly released handbook on “Community Wind Financing,” published by the Environmental Law & Policy Center:
. . . community wind [i]s any project up to 20 MW which was “initiated and (at least partially) owned locally.”
Community wind power projects represent a relatively small, but growing, share of the wind energy market. As of July 2008, community wind projects accounted for at least 736 MW of the total installed wind energy projects in the United States, primarily in the Midwest, and more have been developed in the last year. These projects are largely owned by farmers and other local investors, schools, tribes and municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives. Such local ownership generates powerful economic and social benefits for rural areas. . . .
This updated Handbook provides the latest information on financing community wind projects, including ownership structures, roles of financial intermediaries, and sources of federal and state financial support. Although building these projects has become easier over time as landowners have benefited from the experiences of the community wind pioneers, understanding and accessing financing opportunities remains perhaps the most important requirement for a successful project.