USDA REAP Funding for Renewable Energy
USDA is seeking applications to increase the
production and use of
renewable energy sources. Funding is available from four USDA Rural
Development renewable energy programs authorized by the Food,
Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill). USDA is accepting
applications for grants and loan guarantees in the Rural Energy for
America Program (REAP) until June 30, 2010.
funds to agricultural
producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable
energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. This funding
supports Community Wind investment by providing a financial incentive
not depend on tax liability. Additionally, because a REAP grant is
considered taxable income, it does not trigger a reduction in the
Section 1603 Treasury Cash Grant program created in the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
A total of $87
million is available for renewable energy and energy efficiency
improvements, leaving $9.9 million for energy technical assistance and
$2.4 million for feasibility studies. Eligible projects include
installing renewable energy systems such as
wind turbines, solar, geothermal, biomass, anaerobic digesters,
hydroelectric, and ocean or hydrogen systems. Funding may also be used
to purchase energy-efficient equipment, add insulation, and improve
heating and cooling systems.
For more information about the
program, including links to the USDA Notice of Solicitation of
Applications (NOSA), Read More on the
Windustry web site.
Navigate the Wind
Energy Permitting and Siting Process
Wind Ordinance Survey was designed to help users
navigate through the permitting regulations for wind energy development
at the local level. The information provided will be useful for all wind
developers but specifically targets Community Wind developers who are
interested in local permitting and siting rules as well as local
officials who are working to develop wind ordinances for their area.
This survey provides a single place to access the local permitting and
siting rules for a certain area as well as providing additional
resources for information relating to wind energy siting, such as
wildlife interactions and federal permit requirements.
survey fills an important role in supporting Community Wind by
providing an easily accessible and understandable mechanism that will
help rural residents to more easily navigate the local wind energy
permitting and siting process and will assist local officials who are
working to develop wind ordinances in their area. This first phase of
our expanding County Wind Ordinance Survey builds on the research
performed by a university intern and focuses on Minnesota because of its
leadership in successful Community Wind development.
The Windustry County Wind Ordinance
Survey provides an online tool for basic information about each county
and a quantitative listing of the wind energy regulations. Similarly,
the online tool provides a listing of the counties that regulate in a
particular category. Phase One of the project focused only on Minnesota
counties, however this resource will be expanded to include additional
states in the future.
Read More and Try the
County Wind Ordinance Tool
Assessments in the Great Lakes Region
and the Great Lakes Regional Wind
Energy Institute recently
presented a webinar on the Environmental Assessments in the Great Lakes
Region that provided a discussion of environmental assessments for
land-based wind energy development in and near communities along the
Presenters included David Stout, Chairman of the
Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee, US Fish and Wildlife
Service; Charles McKeown, Renewable Energy Policy Program Manager, MSU
Land Policy Institute; and Michael D. Ernst, Esq., Director, Regulatory
Affairs, Tetra Tech.
in the Great Lakes Region
June 15-16, Stevens Point,
partnering with the Small Wind Conference Coordinating Committee to
produce the Sixth Annual Small Wind Conference in Stevens Point,
Wisconsin, June 15-16, at the Ramada Conference Center. The
Conference is geared toward Small Wind manufacturers, installers and
others engaged in the industry. We are honored to have Larry Flowers,
Technical Director of Wind Powering America, as our Keynote Speaker.
This year's Small Wind Conference will kick off with five
presentations that highlight recent work to help installers, wind site
assessors, and manufacturers better understand the nature of the wind
resource for proposed small wind installations. In addition, presenters
will report on the NABCEP Small Wind Installer Certification, the
turbine certification process for the Small Wind Certification Council,
UL certification of small wind components, and the inclusion of small wind in
the National Electric Code.
On Monday, June 14, we will
be offering two pre-conference seminars: Fundamentals of Wind Energy and
Small Wind Systems and the Zoning Summit 2010. The Conference
itself will run June 15 - 16. For complete information on the
agenda, registration, and Sponsorship opportunities, see www.smallwindconference.com.
The promise of Spring
awakens many hopes. This love poem was penned in 1902 before the poet
met his wife. She admitted in letters to her sister that she wished her
husband had remained a musician rather than become a famous poet and
writer. Who is the poet?
Winds of May, that dance on the
Dancing a ring-around in glee
From furrow to furrow, while
The foam flies up to be garlanded,
In silvery arches spanning the
Saw you my true love anywhere?
For the winds of May!
Love is unhappy when love is
Find out at Windspiration
On the Windustry Trail...
Windustry staff have been busy
working on Community Wind:
exhibited at Earth Day at 40,
the Fourth Annual Nelson Institute Earth Day Conference in Madison,
Wisconsin, meeting with renewable energy policy-makers from across the
- We provided Community
Wind and small wind energy information to many of the 100,000
visitors to the Living Green Expo
in St. Paul, Minnesota,
- We presented Community Wind: Minnesota's Success Story
at the Michigan Wind Energy Conference
hosted by the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association in Detroit,
Michigan, along with giving a pre-conference workshop on Wind Facility
- Our presentations at American Wind
Energy Association WINDPOWER 2010 conference
in Dallas, Texas covered "Electric
Cooperatives and Public Power Join Community Wind" and "County Wind Ordinance Survey: A Resource for
Community Wind." We also participated in the Community Wind Working Group at the
- We hosted a Topic Table on Community Wind during the 2010 Wind Powering America State Summit
in Dallas, Texas, during the WINDPOWER 2010 week of wind energy