If renewable energy generation can be dispersed widely, then it should be locally owned whenever possible. With local ownership, the neighbors of energy generation are also the economic beneficiaries, creating a constituency for rapidly expanding renewable power and transforming energy consumers into energy producers.
Policies, Past, Existing, and Discussions
When President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009, the legislation contained a Buy America provision. This section 1605 of the ARRA requires that all of the iron and steel and “manufactured goods” used in ARRA-funded projects for construction, alteration, maintenance or repair of “a public building or public work” be “produced in the United States.”
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has issued a report that provides an overview of existing wind energy ordinances across the country. The increase in wind energy development also creates a new responsibility on the part of local governments to ensure that ordinances will be established to aid development of safe facilities that are embraced by the community.
The purpose of the report is to educate and engage state and local governments, as well as policy makers about existing large wind energy ordinances.
2008 USDA Farm Bill
On May 22, 2008, Congress overrode the President's veto of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the "Farm Bill"). The Farm Bill is an investment in our nation's food and farm economy. It will ensure food security and promote healthier foods and local food networks, strengthen international food aid and reform commodity and farm programs, protect our natural resources and promote homegrown renewable energy.
2007 was a landmark year for energy policy in Minnesota. The legislature passed the strongest renewable energy standard in the nation with overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle. This law makes Minnesota a leader in clean energy policy and creates a great opportunity for our state to reap the rewards of the booming renewable energy industry. With the passage of The Next Generation Energy Act of 2007, the legislature made sure much of the economic benefits of the increased renewable energy would stay in our rural communities.
Mason City, IA has this ordinance related to zoning of wind projects. Click on the link below to view the ordinance.
Several counties in Southwestern Minnesota have developed a model zoning ordinance wind systems under 5MW for other counties in the state to refer to. A downloadable version of this Model Wind Ordinance is available along with a Companion Document to the Minnesota Model Wind Energy Conversion Ordinance.
Minnesota’s original (2005) Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED) legislation offers some important benefits to community wind projects, but understanding how it works can be a little challenging. This article will try to explain the major aspects of the C-BED program and illustrate how community projects are helped with a simple example.
Interconnection is the process of hooking your wind electricity generator into the larger electricity grid.
Interconnection standards and policies vary from state to state, and can have a large impact on the economics and feasibility of wind projects.
Learn more about interconnection standards from The Interstate Renewable Energy Council's Connecting to the Grid program.