Windustry's work to assist in starting up community wind projects in Montana, Wisconsin and West Virginia will continue well into 2013, thanks to an extension of the grant funding this work approved by the USDA.
The Sand Creek Winds project in northeastern Montana is farthest along, as this group of landowners cooperates very well internally, and the wind resource is very good. Their business has hired a staff person, and has also successfully applied for a queue position with WAPA, the regional transmission organization.
Wisconsin's met tower has now been up for about 1 1/2 years, and the wind data indicates the site should have adequate wind to support a wind project, especially with the latest turbine designs which more efficiently produce electricity in lower wind regimes.
The West Virginia site's met tower has been up about 1 year. With the unusually warm winter last year, wind speeds in the area generally were much lower than average. Consequently, at least one more year of monitoring is needed. Windustry is also working with the people of the area to see if there are other, possibly better, potential sites.