2014 REAP Funding Announced

*May 5, 2014  – The USDA announced funding for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP provides grants and loan guarantees to farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses for a wide range of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. You can see the official notice here

This funding announcement is the first of two rounds of funding to be announced this year. The available funds total $28.2 million. Later this year, the USDA will release the final REAP rule and announce the mandatory funding from the Farm Bill of $50 million. The ultimate share of this funding between grants and loan guarantees will be determined by public demand.

The USDA application deadlines follow:

 Applications involving grantsJuly 7, 2014
 Guaranteed loan only applicationsJuly 31, 2014

The first step for potential applicants with project plans in hand is to contact the USDA Rural Development state energy coordinator. It is important to work with these staff, who can help you through the application process. It is also important to connect with your energy coordinators early in the process – and well in advance of deadlines — as they become very busy.

Due to changes in the new Farm Bill, there will be no funding for flexible fuel blender pumps or feasibility studies. Due to the late funding notice (after April 1), there will be no funding in 2014 for Energy Audits or Renewable Energy Development Assistance. 

Editorial Note: USDA Continues Loan Guarantee Preference

The funding notice includes a number of regrettable and unneeded preferences for loan guarantees over grants that complicate the program, such as longer timelines and preferred treatment of applications. The USDA’s continuing preference for loan guarantees is quite odd given the well-established disinterest from the public in loan guarantees. Loan guarantees primarily help bankers and actually cost money to the project owner while not lowering financing costs. We would prefer the agency to drop this preference and focus on the program mission.

*Adapted from the Environmental Law and Policy Center announcement.

Congratulations to the Recipients of the 2014 Community Wind Awards!

Lloyd Ritter, founder of Green Capital, LLC, is the recipient of the Distinguished Service in Community Wind Award for 2014.

The selection for the Community Wind Innovator Award for 2014 is Chris Diaz, Senior Vice President, Renewable Finance, Seminole Financial Services.


From left to right, Larry Flowers of AWEA, Jim Duffy of Nixon Peabody, LLP, Lisa Daniels of Windustry, Lloyd Ritter of Green Capital, LLC, and Heather Rhodes-Weaver of e-formative Options.

Distinguished Service in Community Wind Award for 2014

The Windustry Board of Directors along with the Community Wind Peer Group is pleased to announce the 2014 Distinguished Service in Community Wind Award. This award is given annually to a person who has made an exceptionally significant contribution to the establishment and growth of Community Wind as a uniquely valuable form of clean, renewable energy.

The recipient of this award possesses outstanding dedication, excellence or achievement and has worked over many years to further the goals of community wind and distributed renewable energy. This person is an exemplary professional and a mentor for others. This person is regarded as a creative leader in his/her professional field and embodies methods of practice and aspects of being that we aspire to ourselves.

This is the fourth year presenting this annual award. The Distinguished Service in Community Wind 2014 award goes to Lloyd Ritter.

Lloyd Ritter

Principal / Founder Green Capitol, LLC

Since 2000 Lloyd Ritter has worked in several capacities to establish and grow community and distributed wind. For several years, Lloyd worked on staff of Senator Tom Harkin, Iowa and was Senior Counsel to the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. Lloyd designed the first ever energy title in the Farm Bill of 2002. This “landmark legislation” has been refined, expanded, and firmed up with mandatory funding in subsequent Farm Bills. Lloyd worked to revise the US Fish and Wildlife Guidelines, so smaller projects have right sized requirements. Over his several years of involvement with community and distributed wind, Lloyd has organized many high level meetings and opportunities for community wind and distributed wind folks to talk with leadership in federal agencies and discuss policy with congressional members and staff. In 2009, Lloyd founded Green Capitol, LLC where he and his associates specialize in clean energy and environmental advocacy, strategic planning and public policy development. Green Capitol’s clients have included Energy Foundation, Governors WindPower Coalition, and the Distributed Wind Energy Association. Windustry and the 2014 Community Wind Peer Committee applaud Lloyd’s hard work and dedication to broaden the scope of national renewable policy to include community and distributed wind energy development and increase its deployment.

Community Wind Innovator Award, 2014 

The Windustry Board of Directors along with a Peer Group of Community Wind Colleagues is pleased to present the Community Wind Innovator Award. This award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant progress over the past one to two years in forging ahead with new policies, new approaches, new business models or new research to further community and distributed wind energy. This person's ideas and efforts have changed how we think about or perform our work.

The recipient of this award: has creative vision about implementing community and distributed wind; is immensely generous in sharing his/her time for the promotion of community and distributed wind; and is a person of great heart. 

This is the fourth year presenting this annual award. The 2014 awardee for the Community Wind Innovator Award is Chris Diaz.

Chris Diaz

Senior Vice President, Renewable Finance, Seminole Financial Services

Since joining Seminole Financial Services in 2010, it wasn’t long before Chris was making deals for community wind projects all over the nation. Chris has been responsible for identifying, evaluating and negotiating renewable energy finance transactions, for both wind and solar, between $2 million and $30 million in need of construction/interim financing and permanent debt. It is rare to find someone who specializes in this size transaction and this role that Chris has defined is valuable to the community wind and distributed renewable projects. Also, he has played a major part in integrating new financial strategies such as New Markets Tax Credits. Through his participation in national and regional conferences and frequent speaking engagements, Chris is often sharing information to help make distributed renewable projects more bankable and buildable.

Prior to Seminole, Chris was employed by Credit Suisse, MMA Financial and the Midland Companies where he gained over 15 years of experience with tax credits and financial services.

(This award will be presented to Chris Diaz at the Windpower 2014 Conference in Las Vegas, in May.)


Peer Group of Community Wind Colleagues

The Windustry Board of Directors thanks the 2014 Community Wind Peer Group for the colleague nominations and selections for the awards. The 2014 Community Wind Peer Group participants were Tom Wind, Wind Utility Consulting; Kevin Schulte, Sustainable Energy Developments; Heather Rhodes-Weaver, eFormative Options; Jim Duffy, Nixon Peabody, LLP; Larry Flowers, AWEA; and Lisa Daniels, Windustry.

Windustry Awarded DOE Grant to Create Regional Wind Resource Center

March 11, 2014. US Department of Energy announces Windustry recipient of grant to create a regional wind resource center. The announcement, from the DOE's Stakeholder Engagement & Outreach Newsletter, is reproduced below.

Recent years have seen major growth in wind energy, and deployment projections indicate this trend will continue for all parts of the wind industry, from small distributed and community wind projects to massive land-based and offshore utility-scale facilities. Record numbers of Americans see wind energy as an important contributor to a secure and clean energy portfolio, and thousands of decisions are made every year at the household, local, state, and regional levels about wind energy development.

To help ensure that these decisions are made based on the most up-to-date information, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is pleased to announce six Wind Energy Regional Resource Centers, selected through a competitive process administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The resource centers and their operators are:

  • Northeast Wind Resource Center, operated by the Clean Energy Group and Sustainable Energy Advantage
  • America's Islanded Grids Resource Center, operated by the Renewable Energy Alaska Project and Island Institute and covering islanded communities across the United States and U.S. Territories
  • Northwest Wind Resource and Action Center, operated by Renewable Northwest Project
  • Southeast Regional Resource Center for Wind Energy, operated by the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition
  • Four Corners Wind Resource Center, operated by the Utah Clean Energy Alliance
  • Midwest and Prairie Regional Wind Resource Center, operated by Windustry.

Windustry partnered with the Iowa Wind Energy Association in submitting its proposal for this grant and we are delighted to report that our submission was successful. A presentation on the proposal was given to the Iowa Wind Energy Association annual meeting March 12, 2014.

New Report Finds No Relationship Between Property Values and Wind

A new study (Jan 2014) on the relationship between residential property values and wind development by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of Connecticut has just been reported. The study examined more than 122,000 home sales near 26 wind facilities (with over 1,500 within one mile of operating turbines) in Massachusetts, yet was unable to uncover any impacts to property values.

 “This is the third of three major studies we have conducted on this topic [the first was published in 2009, and the second last August], and in all studies [using three different datasets] we find no statistical evidence that operating wind turbines have had any measureable impact on home sales prices,” says Ben Hoen, the co-author of the new report.

 A webinar is being offered by the authors on January 22, 2014 at 9:30 am PST, 12:30 pm EST. For the report and to register for the webinar go here. For a bit more from the authors click here.

Danish Record 122% Energy from Wind While Maintaining Quality

Preben Maegaard, President Emeritus of the World Wind Energy Association, reports that for a while on November 4 Denmark was generating more electricity from wind alone than its entire demand, and it managed this while maintaining quality. At 122% this was a new record. A near real-time map with figures, updated every 10 minutes or so, can be viewed at http://www.energinet.dk/Flash/Forside/UK/index.html.

Lisa Daniels Spoke at SRI Conference Oct. 29th

Lisa Daniels, Windustry's Executive Director, spoke at the evening plenary session of the SRI Conference at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, October 29. This was the 24th annual SRI Conference, the Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing. Lisa's session was entitled "Redesigning Capitalism: Transformative Ownership that Works".

    7:00 pm - 8:00 pm    Redesigning Capitalism: Transformative Ownership that Works
    Broadmoor Hall A     GENERAL SESSION - PLENARY
                                     Marjorie Kelly, FellowTellus Institute; moderator
                                     Lisa Daniels, Executive DirectorWindustry
                                     Blake Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer, Namaste Solar
                                     Andrew Kassoy, Co-founderB Corp


The SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing

The 24th annual SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing, October 28-30, 2013 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The SRI Conference is an annual gathering of the responsible investment industry designed to stimulate, inspire, and serve the needs of investment professionals, as well as institutional and high net worth investors who seek to direct investment capital in positive, healthy, and transformative ways toward a truly sustainable future. As the premier North American conference for the sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investing industry, the SRI Conference offers attendees many opportunities to meet and learn from passionate, creative people from all corners of the responsible investment community in the United States and around the world. The conference has been owned and produced by First Affirmative Financial Network since its inception in 1990 in collaboration with many other organizations that serve responsible investors.

A Gathering of Experts

Hundreds of financial professionals and industry practitioners attend The SRI Conference--with somewhat equal representation of the following groups: 1) licensed investment professionals serving investor clients; 2) SRI mutual fund companies, asset managers, social research organizations, and other product/service providers to the industry; and 3) investors, nonprofit organizations including community development banks and credit unions, faith based organizations, and other groups that work with investors on various social change initiatives.


Thanks to All Who Visited Us At the Minnesota State Fair!

Special thanks to our volunteers who helped out so much at this year's exhibit.

Extra special recognition goes to volunteers extraordinare Paul Dinyer and Todd Triebold. Paul and Todd have volunteered with us at the fair every year for at least the last 4 years, and have gone well above and beyond in helping us out each year. Besides staffing the exhibit Paul helped us move in and move out. And Todd worked an amazing 7 shifts. So, extra special thanks to you guys. You ROCK!

Some notable achievements:

We made thousands of buttons for the people who stopped in to have their pictures taken and put on a button.

We also collected over a thousand signatures from Minnesotans who expressed their support for wind energy. Thank you!


2012 Market Report on Wind Technologies in Distributed Applications

The Wind Program recently (Aug. 2013) released its first annual distributed wind technology market report. According to the report:

  • Distributed wind systems account for 68 percent of all wind turbines installed in the U.S. in the past decade.
  • Distributed wind capacity grew by 62 percent in 2012.
  • Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, California, and Massachusetts led the states for all cumulative distributed wind installations over the past 10 years.


Subscribe to Windustry RSS