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The Minnesota Project Advancing Community Wind at the Federal Level

April 1, 2009

As part of its efforts to advance community wind, The Minnesota Project recently participated in the wind policy planning process opened by the Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program within the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.  In mid-2008, the WHTP released a report, 20% Wind Energy by 2030: Increasing Wind Energy Contribution to U.S. Electricity Supply.  To view the report follow: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/windandhydro/pdfs/41869.pdf  The DOE then initiated a request for information from stakeholders to improve the policy recommendations outlined in the report. 

Using team member’s insight into Minnesota wind energy policy, The Minnesota Project provided policy suggestions that are implementable, practical, and most importantly, maximize the local benefits of wind energy development.  By including community/local ownership into federal wind energy planning, the federal government, under the new Obama Administration, has the opportunity to not only meet its renewable energy goals, but to do so in a way that improves the economic impact of renewable energy while also reducing costly delays to wind energy projects.  As the DOE notes but often fails to recognize in the study, “local investments and local impacts produce local advocates.”

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