Glossary Terms

Commercial Scale Wind

Refers to wind energy projects greater than 100 kW where the electricity is sold rather than used on-site. This category can include large arrays of 100 or more turbines owned by large corporations, a single locally-owned wind turbine greater than 100 kW in size, or anything in between.


The simultaneous production of heat energy and electrical of mechanical power from the same fuel in the same facility. Cogeneration is achieved through the capture and recycle of rejected heat that escapes from an existing electricity generation process.

Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs)

A CREB is a special type of tax credit bond providing rural electric cooperatives, municipal electric utilities, and government entities (including tribal councils) the equivalent of an interest-free loan for financing qualified energy projects. CREBs were created in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and are largely modeled on the Qualified Zone Academy Bond program that provides tax credit bonds for school renovation and upgrades in certain qualified school districts. They deliver an incentive comparable to the production tax credit that is available to private renewable energy project developers and investor-owned utilities. $800 million of CREBs were allocated by the U.S. Treasury for 2006 and 2007 through an application process by qualified borrowers. The program was fully subscribed for 2008 for $400 million of bonds.

Business Metrics

A system of parameters or other quantitative assessments of a business that can be measured periodically and systematically. Business metrics are often used to keep track of how well a business is meeting its objectives.

Avoided Cost

The rate that utilities are required to pay independent power producers according to the Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA). Avoided cost is the simply the cost that the utility would have incurred for producing the same amount of power. This is not a favorable rate to recieve as an independent power producer.

Attractive Nuisance

A hazard that is likely to attract children, who are unlikely to fully comprehend the danger posed by the hazard. A landowner may be liable for injuries to children caused by the hazard even if the children are trespassing.

Anemometry Equipment

The set of meteorological measuring and logging devices used to collect wind data for a wind resource assessment study. Equipment set typically includes: tower, anemometer, wind vane, temperature sensors, heating device, and data logger


A device used to measure wind velocity as part of a wind resource assessment study. Cup anemometers are the standard type used today, with 3 cups spinning on a vertical axis. The anemometer typically is installed on a guyed tilt-up tower at the anticipated location and height of the potential wind turbine.

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

AMT can be thought of as a different tax system with different rules and deductions; taxpayers must compute their taxes under both the regular tax and AMT rules and then pay the greater of the two. The purpose of the AMT is to prenvet those in the higher tax bracket from getting by from year to year tax free. A consequence is that many unsuspecting taxpayers who make less than $100,000 a year with certain kinds of investments and deductions end up having to pay the AMT. Investing in certain types of businesses can trigger the AMT.


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