Pennsylvania Assists Small Wind Power Developments

May 10, 2006


Photo of a small wind turbine on a tall tower held with guy wires, with a house in the background.

This 10-kilowatt wind turbine provides power to a rural home in Vermont.
Credit: Dave Blittersdorf

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took two steps in April to encourage small wind power developments in the state. First, it awarded a $193,000 grant to Southwest Windpower to place 15 small, advanced technology wind turbines in highly visible locations across the state, and invited municipalities, public authorities, and school districts to apply to the state to host the wind turbines. Applications are due on May 12th. Second, the state unveiled a model ordinance that will help Pennsylvania's local governments decide how to direct the location and development of wind turbines within municipal borders. The model ordinance represents the collaborative efforts of Pennsylvania's state and local governments with the private sector. See the press releases on the wind turbines and model ordinance from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Utilities in Minnesota and Iowa are also encouraging small, community-based wind turbines. In Minnesota, Xcel Energy has committed to developing 500 megawatts of community-based wind power by 2010. The utility is already developing projects that should yield 300 megawatts of community-based wind power by 2007. In Iowa, MidAmerican Energy has agreed to buy 40 megawatts of wind power from community wind projects under an agreement with the Iowa Farmers Union. See the press releases from Minnesota Governor Pawlenty and the Iowa Farmers Union.

To help such state efforts, DOE's Wind Powering America program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have issued a series of Small Wind Electric Systems Consumer's Guides, including guides specifically crafted for 35 states: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. To download the guides, select and scroll down to the "Publications" heading on Small Wind Web page of the Wind Powering America Web site.