See details at Windustry
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.
Windustry supporters and volunteers are joining us on Facebook.
You can too!
DOE Funding for Community Renewable Energy Projects
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
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:
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.
- 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
- Data from 11 transmission queues show that an astounding 300 GW of new wind capacity is under development.
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.
Department of Treasury Releases Cash Grant GuidelinesThe 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:
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
- Program guidance document
- Terms and conditions
- Sample application
Interested applicants should note that:
See the Windustry web site for more details and links to documents for the Department of Treasury Releases Cash Grant Guidelines.
- 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.
Property Tax Financing AuthorizationA
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
More states authorizing local governments to provide loans for small-scale renewable energy projects
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
Is there a doctor in the house?
No, not the kind with the stethoscope - a Wind Doctor!
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
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.
participated in a panel on "Commercial and Community Wind" at the 3rd
Annual Illinois Wind Working Group Conference, Advancing Wind Power in
- 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.