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"Wind Energy Guide for County Commissioners" from NACO

This guide from the National Association of Counties was released in November, 2006. According to the NACO website, "this publication is designed to provide county commissioners, planners, and other local county government officials with a practical overview of information required to successfully implement commercial wind energy projects in their county."

Click here to download the guide from the NACO website.

 

Wind Energy Siting Handbook from AWEA

According to the AWEA website, "The Wind Energy Siting Handbook was developed by the AWEA Siting Committee to inform wind energy developers and other interested parties about environmental siting issues relevant to land-based commercial-scale wind energy project development in the United States.

"This handbook has been designed to provide technical information and useful tools based on the industry’s collective experience in siting wind energy projects and assessing potential impacts."

Click here to go to the AWEA website to download this 178-page document.

Mid-Atlantic/ Southeastern Regional Wind Energy Institute

The Mid-Atlantic/Southeastern Regional Wind Energy Institute (RWEI) provides a means for state wind working groups in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia to better equip themselves with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively communicate and promote wind power in their states.

Click here to go to the website. 

Kansas Rural Center

The Kansas Rural Center, Inc. (KRC) is a non-profit organization that promotes the long-term health of the land and its people through research, education, and advocacy.

The KRC cultivates grassroots support for public policies that encourage family farming and stewardship of soil and water. The KRC is committed to economically viable, environmentally sound, and socially sustainable rural culture.

Click here to go to the KRC website. 

New Report from ILSR: "Minnesota Feed-In Tariff Could Lower Cost, Boost Renewables and Expand Local Ownership"

This January 2008 policy brief from the New Rules Project of ILSR highlights how several European countries, and more recently the Canadian province of Ontario, have adopted a simple yet powerful strategy to expand renewable energy and benefit local economies. It is called a feed-in tariff: a mandated, long-term premium price for renewable energy paid by the local electric utility to energy producers. Evidence shows that a feed-in tariff achieves greater results at a lower cost than do other strategies like tax incentives or renewable electricity standards.

Click here to go to the New Rules Project website and download a copy of the report.

Rural Cooperatives Magazine features wind energy

The November/December 2007 issue of Rural Cooperatives, a magazine published by USDA Rural Development, features wind energy.

The issue includes stories about:

  • the Minwind projects in Luverne, MN,
  • how USDA 9006 grants are supporting wind energy in Iowa,
  • the technician training program at Iowa Lakes Community College,
  • the Trimont, MN wind project,
  • the Corn Plus Ethanol plant wind project in Winnebago, MN,
  • Basin Electric Power Cooperative's wind initatives,
  • Illinois Rural Electric Coop's wind turbine, and
  • a great piece about opportunities for coops to participate in wind energy.

You can read Rural Cooperatives online by clicking here.

Wind Project Financing Structures: A Review & Comparative Analysis

This report from Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory was released in September, 2007. The report, titled "Wind Project Financing Structures: A Review & Comparative Analysis," was authored by John Harper (Birch Tree Capital, LLC), Matt Karcher (Deacon Harbor Financial, L.P.), and Mark Bolinger (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), and was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Wind & Hydropower Technologies Program.

The rapid expansion in the U.S. wind power industry over the past few years has required the mobilization of a tremendous amount of capital. In 2007 alone, for example, an estimated $6 billion will be invested in new wind projects in the U.S. To attract this kind of capital, the wind power sector has, in recent years, developed multiple financing structures to manage project risk and allocate Federal tax incentives to those entities that can use them most efficiently. These structures are the underlying focus of this report.

Specifically, the purpose of this report is three-fold: (1) to survey recent trends in the financing of utility-scale wind projects in the United States, (2) to describe in some detail the seven principal financing structures through which most utility-scale wind projects (excluding utility-owned projects) have been financed from 1999 to the present, and (3) to help understand the impact of these seven structures on the levelized cost of energy from wind power.

The seven structures -- which range from simple balance-sheet finance to several varieties of all-equity partnership "flip" structures to leveraged structures -- feature varying combinations of equity capital from project developers and third-party tax-oriented investors, and in some cases commercial debt. Their origins stem from variations in the financial capacity and business objectives of wind project developers, coupled with the investment risk tolerance and objectives of the tax-oriented investors and debt providers.

The full report (including an executive summary) can be downloaded from:
http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/emp/reports/63434.pdf

In addition, a high-level PowerPoint summary of the document is available at:
http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/emp/reports/63434-ppt.pdf

[Text of this item is adapted with minor changes from from a 09/2007 LBNL press release.]

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