Wind Energy Ordinances (Fact Sheet)

Research output: NRELFact Sheet


Due to increasing energy demands in the United States and more installed wind projects, rural communities and local governments with limited or no experience with wind energy now have the opportunity to become involved in this industry. Communities with good wind resources may be approached by entities with plans to develop the resource. Although these opportunities can create new revenue in theform of construction jobs and land lease payments, they also create a new responsibility on the part of local governments to create ordinances to regulate wind turbine installations. Ordinances are laws, often found within municipal codes that provide various degrees of control to local governments. These laws cover issues such as zoning, traffic, consumer protection, and building codes. Windenergy ordinances reflect local needs and wants regarding wind turbines within county or city lines and aid the development of safe facilities that will be embraced by the community. Since 2008 when the National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a report on existing wind energy ordinances, many more ordinances have been established throughout the United States, and this trend is likely tocontinue in the near future as the wind energy industry grows. This fact sheet provides an overview of elements found in typical wind energy ordinances to educate state and local government officials, as well as policy makers.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2010

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/FS-7A2-48583

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102010-3105


  • wind energy
  • wind energy ordinance
  • wind energy zoning
  • wind turbine


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