Our Mission Statement
Windustry's mission is to promote sustainable energy solutions and empower communities to develop and own clean energy assets. As an independent voice acting in support of communities, we work — through education, outreach, and advocacy — to advance broad community ownership of renewable energy.
The sector of the economy responsible for the most greenhouse gas emissions is the power sector, and the source that produces the largest share of our electricity and the bulk of greenhouse gases is coal. Community renewables are the most rapidly deployable form of green energy, because they require minimal upgrades to the transmission grid. Community renewables also provide the most economic benefit to their communities, since more of the dollars saved and made stay in the local community.
David Benson - Farmer, former Nobles County Commissioner
Lisa Daniels - Executive Director and Founder of Windustry
- James Duffy - Law Partner at Nixon Peabody LLP
- David Kolsrud - Farmer, Agri-Energy LLC, DAK Renewable Energy
- Cindy Webster - Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties
- Carita Zimmerman - Financial consultant for non-profits
Windustry's programs include:
Community Wind Energy Advocacy
Distributed Renewables Advocacy
Small and Community Renewable Development Resources
Education and Outreach
Technical Assistance and Analysis
Wind Energy Advocacy
The fast-paced expansion of the wind energy industry leads to new challenges daily, and Windustry is committed to seeking solutions that benefit rural landowners and communities. Not only does wind energy provide clean, emissions-free, locally produced electricity, but it also creates economic development in the form of new jobs, new industry, new revenue through electricity sales, and associated growth and spending. Windustry seeks to promote wind energy in ways that help capitalize on these opportunities to diversify and revitalize rural economies.
Long-term, sustainable growth of the wind industry depends on support and enthusiasm for wind development in windy regions. To this end, we believe that residents of these areas must be well informed about their options and have the opportunity to be full partners in this growing industry.
To help rural communities harness the economic potential of wind energy, Windustry works to develop information and tools for evaluating wind energy easement contracts, landowner options, and economic development impacts of wind energy. We also customize our outreach efforts for landowners, farm and agricultural organizations, local elected officials, economic development organizations, and rural utilities.
“Wind is homegrown energy that we can harvest right along side our corn or soybeans or other crops. Farm-based energy is one of the few bright spots on the rural landscape and growing the market for it can only benefit rural communities.”
— David Benson, Farmer, County Commissioner, and Windustry Board Member, Nobles County Minnesota
Wind power development comes in many shapes and sizes, but local or community ownership of wind turbines contributes most significantly to local economic development benefits. Essentially, Community Wind means that one or more members of the local community have a significant financial stake in the project. Examples of Community Wind projects include farmer-owned wind turbines, school wind projects, municipal utility or rural electric cooperative wind installations, and tribal community wind projects. At Windustry, we encourage community wind projects by developing practical tools, information, and expertise to help communities and landowners evaluate and implement community wind projects.
If you work with specific groups that would like to learn about wind and renewable technologies as local solutions, you’ve come to the right place! Windustry employees and contractors regularly deliver speaking presentations at conferences and other events on a for-hire basis or, when our budget allows, pro-bono. Please contact us if you are looking for a speaker for your event and/or would like more information.
Midwest Wind Energy Center
Windustry also manages the Midwest Wind Energy Center (MWEC), a regional resource center for information about wind energy. MWEC works to increase support for wind energy by connecting people with accurate information about economics, environment, and policy. It is the regional center for the midwestern United States and encompasses Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the eastern portion of Montana. MWEC is one of six Regional Resource Centers established in 2014 under a grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) and administered by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). Learn more about the resource centers on the DOE website.
Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest! Also look for us in the Eco Experience building at the Minnesota State Fair each year, and check back to our pages and website to find out about upcoming webinars to learn more about what's going on in the world of wind energy.