Minnesota

Minnesota Wind Resource Estimator - Small Wind

The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Energy Division, provides a very useful tool for estimating the average annual wind speed 100 feet (30 meters) up for any location in the state. This interactive tool is ideal for anyone considering a small (home or farm scale) wind system, as the value can be input into our small wind financial calculator to find out whether a wind project will be financially rewarding. They call the tool a "Wind Speed Verification Tool".

The tool is available here.

Minnesota Wind Resource Maps

Minnesota Wind Map

The first step for planning a wind energy project is determining if you have enough wind to justify the expense of the system and the time and expense of operating and maintaining your equipment.

Wind Powering America provides high-resolution wind maps and estimates of the wind resource potential. The Department of Energy's Wind Program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published a wind resource map for the state of Minnesota. The wind resource map shows the predicted mean annual wind speeds at 80-m height for commercial wind farms and Community Wind projects.

Wind Powering America Minnesota Wind Map

The Minnesota Department of Commerce provides wind maps developed for the Department by WindLogics, a Minnesota company that is at the leading edge of wind resource assessment using atmospheric modeling. These 2006 maps show the wind speed resources at 30, 80, and 100 meters, as well as capacity factor and energy production estimates for a 1.65 MW wind turbine at 80 meters.

Minnesota Department of Commerce Wind Maps

For other states, see the Wind Powering America website.

Small Wind Turbine Program Aimed at Furthering Small Wind Development in MN

In 2011, with a grant from the USDA, Windustry and the Region Nine Renewable Energy Task Force launched a Small Wind Bulk Buy Program to help rural enterprises take advantage of the state's wind resources and net-metering laws.

The program was supported by a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant, and other funders to support small wind energy, and the consequent economic development in the region. It provided Small Wind 101 training sessions, as well as technical and logistical support, including wind resource evaluation, site selection, economic evaluation, turbine selection, and support with permitting. The program focused on machines ranging in size from 2.4 kW to just under 40kW.

As of May, 2012, the funds from the USDA ran out and the application for renewal was declined. However, the Region Nine Renewable Energy Task Force still supports the program in a limited fashion; and the resources that were developed, in particular the Small Wind Guide and the Small Wind Financial Calculator, continue to be available below.

 

 

This is a wonderful opportunity for those who have considered wind power to find out if it really makes sense for them. People will get an honest evaluation, and for those who want to move forward, the path will be made as smooth as possible.

—Rich Huelskamp, Renewable Energy consultant, The Sun's Warmth

Windustry Program Analyst Dan Turner: "Region Nine has learned a great deal about making this program work efficiently. Those in the region who can take advantage of it will be well served.

It makes small wind turbines more attractive as investments both to offset electric bills and, in some cases, to generate revenue. Industry growth in the area engages a local workforce trained to install and maintain small wind turbines, stimulates supply chain business development, and keeps energy dollars local to maintain and build the rural economy."

 

Download Small Wind Guide

Download the Small Wind Guide for a basic overview about small wind electric systems to help you decide if wind energy is right for you.

Download the Small Wind Financial Calculator for Minnesota Net Metering Situations, requires Microsoft Excel or compatible software.

 

REDI Resources

Clean Energy Project Builder

Clean Energy Project Builder (formerly REDI Resources) is an online directory of community and small wind, and solar power companies from all over the United States who serve Minnesota’s clean energy industry. The directory allows you to browse companies; to search by specific services like engineering, operations & maintenance, or legal services; to find companies near you using geographic search; and to find companies through a range of other details like service area, number of employees, or completed project capacity.

Clean Energy Project Builder is a long-term resource provided through the collaborative efforts of the Southwest Initiative Foundation, Clean Energy Resource Teams, The Minnesota Project, and Windustry.

CERTs 2011 Clean Energy Convergence - Learn, Connect, ACT

The CERTs 2011 Clean Energy Convergence will unite Minnesotans who are blazing the paths to a clean energy future by working on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in their communities. You can learn, connect, and act with CERTs and 600 engaged community members on February 2-3, 2011 in Saint Cloud, Minnesota.

CERTs 2011 Clean Energy Convergence

CERTs 2011 is a venue for both broad and in-depth learning opportunities, connecting and networking with engaged community members, and taking action on energy efficiency and clean energy projects. The event will begin with In-Depth Workshops and an Evening Reception on February 2nd, and continue with a Daylong Conference on the 3rd. 

Learn: At CERTs 2011 you will learn from experts and community members alike on what it takes to get projects done. Find out how individuals and communities are partnering, planning, funding, and implementing projects. Hear success stories and models that demonstrate how to become more energy efficient and harness clean energy while strengthening local economies and protecting the environment. 

Connect: CERTs 2011 will provide networking opportunities for you to connect with community leaders, energy experts, local government staff, teachers and students, utility representatives, business owners, homeowners, farmers, and more. All have the same goals: saving energy, saving money, creating jobs, and powering our future renewably. 

Act: Whether you're looking to save energy in your home, business, school, or local government; passionate about installing a renewable energy system like solar, wind, or biomass; interested in educating your community about energy issues; or looking for good training opportunities in Minnesota, CERTs 2011 has what you're looking for.

Learn more, see the full agenda, and register for CERTs 2011 at http://2011.MNCERTs.org 

General Wesley Clark joins all-star roster for Midwest Wind Conference

General Wesley Clark
General Wesley Clark

Special Guest General Wesley Clark joins an all-star roster of wind luminaries for the Community Wind across America conference for the Midwest Region on November 15-16 in St. Paul, Minnesota. General Clark opens Monday evening's reception (5:30 pm), the four star Army general has called for a Renewable Energy Standard for the country and extending tax credits for renewables, much the way the government encourages oil and gas development.

Program speakers for the two-day event include Community Wind pioneer Dan Juhl and Small Wind guru Mick Sagrillo. Economics professor Arne Kildegaard, will speak to the regional economic impact of wind development with local ownership and Craig Lewis, of the FIT Coalition, will present on the benefits of Feed-In Tariffs.

See the full two-day Agenda for the Community and Small Wind Energy event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel St. Paul, Minnesota on November 15-16. Discounted registration fees of $125 are available through November 11, so don't delay. 

Get more information about the Community Wind across America conference series.

Report Uses Cases Studies to Explore Community Wind

Lessons & Concepts for Advancing Community Wind, released by The Minnesota Project, seeks to advance the development of community-based wind projects in the United States by drawing keys to success and policy recommendations from three compelling Midwestern case studies.

Wind energy continues to experience double digit growth rates because of the relatively cheap technology and the widespread availability of wind resources, and numerous studies have now shown that locally-owned wind projects produce disproportionate benefits to the local community and region where they are built. This presents community wind energy development as a stand-out opportunity for communities across America to pursue locally-owned projects that will help meet their electricity needs and contribute to energy independence while also providing tremendous economic benefits. 

Report Contents:

  • Section I: Community Wind Case Studies
    • Winona County, MN
    • City of Willmar, MN
    • Miner County, SD
  • Section II: Keys to Success
    • Visioning & Planning
    • Project Leadership
    • Involving the Community
    • Financing & Pricing
  • Section III: Solutions for Advancing Community Wind
    • Dispersed Generation Studies
    • Siting & Permitting Standardization
    • Establishing or Improving C-BED Legislation
    • Rural Utility Service Loans
    • Investment Tax Credit or Cash Grant
    • Net Metering
    • Advanced Renewable Tariffs
    • Standard Offer Contracts
    • Increasing Renewable Portfolio Standards

Association of Minnesota Counties

The Association of Minnesota Counties is a voluntary statewide organization that assists the state’s 87 counties in providing effective county governance to the people of Minnesota. It is the mission of the Association to assist in the provision of effective county governance for the people of Minnesota. The association works closely with the legislative and administrative branches of government in seeing that legislation and policies favorable to counties are enacted. In addition, the Association provides educational programs, training, research and communications for county officials. 

Small Wind Energy State Rebate Programs

Some states have rebates for Small Wind Energy Systems, and the number of programs have increased with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

If your state is not listed below, then check the the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) web site to review programs for your state.

California

Emerging Renewables Program
California Energy Commission - Consumer Energy Center

Illinois

Solar And Wind Energy Rebate Program
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

Massachusetts

Commonwealth Wind Incentive Program
Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust

Minnesota

Minnesota Small Wind Turbine Rebate for Residences
Minnesota Office of Energy Security

New Jersey

Renewable Energy Incentive Program
New Jersey's Clean Energy Program

New York

On-Site or Small Wind Incentives
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

DSIRE

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency

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