Economic Development Impacts of Community Wind Projects: A Review and Empirical Evaluation; Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


'Community wind' refers to a class of wind energy ownership structures. The extent of local ownership may range from a small minority share to full ownership by persons in the immediate area surrounding the wind project site. Potential project owners include local farmers, businesses, Native American tribes, universities, cooperatives, or any other local entity seeking to invest in wind energy.The opposite of community wind is an 'absentee' project, in which ownership is completely removed from the state and community surrounding the facility. Thus, there is little or no ongoing direct financial benefit to state and local populations aside from salaries for local repair technicians, local property tax payments, and land lease payments. In recent years, the community wind sector hasbeen inhibited by manufacturers' preference for larger turbine orders. This often puts smaller community wind developers and projects at a competitive disadvantage. However, state policies specifically supporting community wind may become a more influential market factor as turbines are now more readily available given manufacturer ramp-ups and the slow-down in the industry that has accompaniedthe recent economic and financial crises. This report examines existing literature to provide an overview of economic impacts resulting from community wind projects, compares results, and explains variability.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages29
StatePublished - 2009
EventWindPower 2009 Conference and Exhibition - Chicago, Illinois
Duration: 4 May 20097 May 2009


ConferenceWindPower 2009 Conference and Exhibition
CityChicago, Illinois

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-500-45555


  • community wind
  • economic development impacts
  • economic developments
  • wind energy
  • wind farm
  • wind projects
  • wind turbine


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