This handbook was prepared by Windustry for the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois and published January 1, 2004. The purpose of this handbook is to inform the reader about wind as a resource for generating electricity, with emphasis on Illinois as a potential host for small-scale and large-scale projects. It addresses how to assess the value of wind, the wind energy options available for landowners and communities to consider, and sources of financial assistance. Case studies are included to illustrate what has been done to develop this resource in Illinois and neighboring states. Find it the Illinois Website download here.
Community Wind - Resources
This guidebook was created by Charles Kubert for the Environmental Law and Policy Center in 2004. It talks about business models, sources of equity, grant and loan programs, incentives, and power purchase agreements for community wind projects. You'll find it online on the ELPC website.
The Oregon Energy Trust, in collaboration with NW SEED, developed a Community Wind guidebook in 2006. This 106-page book introduces the basic concepts behind community wind development and is available on the Energy Trust of Oregon web site.
The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the North Dakota Division of Community Services (DCS), developed the Plains Organization for Wind Energy Resources (POWER) to serve as a regional center of excellence for wind energy.
You can find a map of the active and inactove monitoring towers in the Midwest as well as a database of wind resource measurements that have already been taken around the Midwest.
The Iowa Energy Center is a non-profit organization working to create a stable energy future for Iowa.
Their web site includes wind and solar resource maps for Iowa, as well as loan and tax incentive information.
Windustry Wind Project Calculator
The Windustry Wind Project Calculator was designed by Alice Orrell, Alice Orrell Consulting, and Windustry for the Community Wind Toolbox.
The Wind Project Calculator was developed to assist in performing cash flow modeling for community wind projects. You will need to enter specific information about the type of turbine you are considering, the estimated annual average wind speed, information about electricity use and electric rates, and information about financing and income taxes. The program will estimate the cash flows for investing in a wind turbine and the rate of return on the cash investments.
Use this calculator in conjunction with software from the Idaho National Laboratory. The software from Idaho National Laboratory is designed to combine validated wind resource data with wind turbine power curves to calculate average wind speed, estimated annual energy production, and capacity factor. Also included with the software is a program to help you create a wind rose for your site. The software is available at www.inl.gov/wind/software/
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Wind Energy Finance Application (You'll need to set up a username and password, but there's no charge.)
A Comparative Analysis of Business Structures Suitable for Farmer-Owned Wind Power Projects in the United States (November 2004) was prepared for the Wind & Hydropower Technologies Program, U.S. Department of Energy, by Mark Bolinger and Ryan Wise.
For years, farmers in the United States have looked with envy on their European counterparts' ability to profitably farm the wind through ownership of distributed, utility-scale wind projects. Only within the past few years, however, has farmer- or community-owned wind power development become a reality in the United States. The primary hurdle to this type of development in the United States has been devising and implementing suitable business and legal structures that enable such projects to take advantage of tax-based federal incentives for wind power. This article discusses the limitations of such incentives in supporting farmer- or community-owned wind projects, describes four ownership structures that potentially overcome such limitations, and finally conducts comparative financial analysis on those four structures, using as an example a hypothetical 1.5 MW farmer-owned project located in the state of Oregon.