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Community Energy Funding
State of Wind Energy
Treasury Grant Guidelines
Property Tax Financing
Offshore Wind Potential
1% for the Planet
The Eco Experience
On the Windustry Trail
Wind Turbine
Quick Links
Wind Basics
Windustry News
Community Wind Toolbox
About Windustry

Grant Deadline

Farmers, ranchers, and other rural small businesses have until July 31, 2009 to apply for grants or loan guarantees to assist with energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Energy for America Program
See details at Windustry

Free Windustry Webinar
Wind Project Siting in the Great Lakes Region
August 13th, 10 am CDT

Great Lakes Region Webinar

Volunteer for the
Wind Energy Center
at the MN State Fair
Volunteer for the Wind Energy Center

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Windustry E-Newsletter
July 2009
DOE Funding for Community Renewable Energy Projects

Department of Energy The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced $21.45 million of grant funds for state and local governments, Indian Tribes, and Tribal Energy Resource Development Organizations or Groups to implement community renewable energy projects. Selected projects will support the goals and objectives of the American Reinvestment & Recovery Act, which include creating jobs, promoting economic recovery, and making investments in renewable energy infrastructure that will provide long-term economic and environmental benefits to communities.

Successful applicants will demonstrate how large-scale renewable energy deployment will be facilitated through a comprehensive community energy strategy, adoption of codes and standards to support interconnection of renewable energy systems into the grid, financing, and partnerships with utilities, the renewable energy industry, and government agencies. Grant amounts start at $5 million and can only be used to cover 50 percent of the project costs. The DOE expects to fund about four projects over the duration of three years. The application deadline is Sept. 3, 2009.

See the Windustry web site for additional information on the Community Renewable Energy Deployment opportunity.

DOE Releases New Report on the State of Wind Energy

2008 Wind Technologies Market Report If you're sick of reading about the bad economy all the time, then check out the Department of Energy's newly-released "2008 Wind Technologies Market Report." The report summarizes key trends in U.S. wind development, and offers plenty of reasons for optimism. Some of the major findings include:
  • The U.S. added 8,558 MW of new wind capacity in 2008-more than any other year before. As a result, wind power contributed more than 42 percent of all new electrical generating capacity in 2008, and the U.S. now has more wind capacity installed than any other country in the world.
  • Data from 11 transmission queues show that an astounding 300 GW of new wind capacity is under development.
  • The number of utility-scale wind turbine manufacturers assembling nacelles in the U.S. increased from just one in 2004 to five in 2008. Overall, AWEA estimates that roughly 8,400 new domestic manufacturing jobs were added in the wind sector in 2008.
  • The price of electricity from wind increased in 2008 to an average of $51.5/MWh. Generally, wind projects in the Heartland and Texas offer cheaper power than wind projects in the East and New England.
To learn about wind project performance, utility sales of wind energy, turbine manufacturers, transmission challenges, the policy landscape, and much more, read about the "2008 Wind Technologies Market Report" on the Windustry web site.
Department of Treasury Releases Cash Grant Guidelines

The United States Treasury Department posted guidance documents for the cash grant program created in section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 including:
  • Program guidance document
  • Terms and conditions
  • Sample application
It is expected that the Section 1603 program will temporarily fill the gap created by the diminished investor demand for tax credits. In this way, the near term goal of creating and retaining jobs is achieved, as well as the long-term benefit of expanding the use of clean and renewable energy and decreasing our dependency on non-renewable energy sources.

Interested applicants should note that:
  • The Treasury Department is not currently accepting applications, but Windustry anticipates they will begin soon.
  • Windustry will post more information on the application process as it becomes available.
  • The statutory deadline for applications is October 11, 2011.
See the Windustry web site for more details and links to documents for the Department of Treasury Releases Cash Grant Guidelines.
Property Tax Financing Authorization
More states authorizing local governments to provide loans for small-scale renewable energy projects

A growing number of states have adopted a policy that encourages development of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects: Property Tax Financing Authorization. These policies begin with the state legislature granting local units of government the authority to create a program that provides loans to property owners for the installation of energy efficiency upgrades and distributed renewable generation projects. It is then up to the local government to decide if and how they want to implement such a program. The key element of these programs is that repayment of the loan is through a special assessment fee on the property tax.

The upfront costs of distributed generation can be, and often are, a significant barrier to homeowners and small businesses, and credits, rebates, incentives and grants only cover a portion of the costs. At some point an individual will need to come up with cash to move the project forward. Property tax financing programs provide an opportunity for many home and business owners to access that cash, without reliance on their own personal credit history.

Property Tax Financing Authorization

As of July 2009, eleven states have enacted legislation authorizing local governments to implement Property Tax Financing programs. Currently only four communities in two states have active programs: Colorado's Boulder County, and California's communities in Palm Desert, Berkeley, and Sonoma County.

Read more on Property Tax Financing Authorization at Windustry.
Offshore Wind Potential in the United States
Wind turbine innovations, regulations, and incentives could help both Outer Continental Shelf and Great Lakes

Floating Wind Turbine Concepts (detail) from U.S. Department of Energy and National Renewable Energy Laboratory A large-scale floating turbine was installed off the coast of Norway by companies StatoilHydro and Siemens in June. The floating turbine, dubbed the Hywind, is located in water that is about 700 feet deep. This is significantly deeper than previously installed offshore turbines whose fixed-bottom structures required a water depth of only about 100 feet.

The United States has yet to install any offshore wind turbines, partially because appropriate turbine designs, like the floating turbines, are still being researched, said Jason Jonkman, a senior engineer with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Another roadblock in U.S. offshore projects is inconsistent permitting practices. Since offshore ownership varies greatly from the east and west coasts, the Great Lakes, and the southern gulfs, leasing conditions have not been streamlined, said Katie Roek, an attorney with Stoel Rivers LLP who has extensive experience wind energy projects.

Read more about Offshore Wind Potential in the U.S. and see a full diagram of deep-water turbines.
One Percent for the Planet
A global movement helping organizations like Windustry

1% for the Planet Windustry is a proud recipient of a financial contribution through 1% for the Planet from the Minnesota manufacturer Loll Designs. 1% for the Planet exists to build and support an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet. It's about businesses recognizing that industry and ecology are inherently connected, and it's about realizing the positive effects of connecting businesses, consumers and nonprofits. In recent years 1% for the Planet has inspired over 1200 companies to donate 1 percent of their sales to a network of almost 1800 nonprofit organizations working on environmental issues.

Loll Designs Winner of the Innovative Green Design Award for Outdoor Furniture and featured in TIME magazine's Green Design 100 issue, Loll Designs is also listed in Minnesota Monthly's "Great Places to Work."  Loll Designs manufactures all-weather eco-friendly furniture made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. Loll Designs is headquartered at Hawks Boots near the shore of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota. Hawks Boots was founded on principles of efficient and responsible use and reuse of manufacturing materials while continuously reaching to improve product quality.

Windusty thanks both Loll Designs and 1% for the Planet for their support. Find out how your company can become a leader in environmental stewardship at 1% for the Planet.
The Eco Experience
The Wind Energy Center coming to the Minnesota State Fair

You're only a month away from your chance to visit the Wind Energy Center at The Eco Experience, part of the Minnesota State Fair, August 27 through September 7.

Wind Energy Center If you have any questions relating to wind energy, the Wind Energy Center is the place to have them answered. Besides taking the opportunity to talk one-on-one with experts in the field, you can determine the possibilities for harnessing wind energy in your community, learn about wind-related jobs, understand what types of tax credits are available for wind projects, and more. You can also experience the extreme size of a wind turbine by climbing inside a tower replica, or standing in the shadow of a commercial-size blade. 

Kids have lots to learn from the Wind Energy Center, too. They can experiment with different turbine blade designs, record their air speeds against using professional anemometers, compare them to other top speeds of the day, and explore our other interactive displays.

Volunteer at the Wind Energy Center
Windustry relies on people like you to make the Wind Energy Center a success. Help promote wind energy by volunteering a few hours any day of the State Fair. In return, you'll receive a free voucher to the Fair, valid for the day you volunteer, as well as a free t-shirt.
See details and sign up to Volunteer.

Support the Wind Energy Center
Donate what you can to help Windustry cover the costs of updating exhibit displays, making handouts for Fair-goers and providing materials for kids' activities. Every gift goes toward helping the thousands of visitors to The Eco Experience understand the benefits of community wind projects. Donate online, call (612) 870-3463, or mail donations to Windustry at 2105 First Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404.

Find out more about the Wind Energy Center
Is there a doctor in the house?
No, not the kind with the stethoscope - a Wind Doctor!

Windspiration Wind is almost constantly with us - variable, diverse, inspirational and sometimes cataclysmic. Cultures across the planet have conjured up colloquial names to describe the vagaries of their local winds. Here are a few, including images of the wind as doctor:

The Fremantle Doctor - A cooling sea breeze in Western Australia, often made note of during hot summer-time cricket matches.

Cape Doctor - A cooling sea breeze in the Tropics; the strong Southeast wind blowing on the south African coast - sometimes called Harmattan.

Can you guess what the following Wind Names describe?

Bull's Eye Squall
Nashi, N'aschi

Find out at Windspiration
On the Windustry Trail...
Windustry staff had a busy month working on Community Wind:
  • We produced a Wind Energy Facility Permitting and Siting Webinar as part of our Minnesota-North Dakota-South Dakota Network Webinar Series - Access the recorded Webinar.

  • We participated in a panel on "Commercial and Community Wind"  at the 3rd Annual Illinois Wind Working Group Conference, Advancing Wind Power in Illinois.

  • We presented on "Community Wind" at the Michigan Energy Fair sponsored by the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association.

  • We participated in a Wind Energy Forum on utility scale wind energy projects in Wanamingo, Minnesota.