In the midst of a sluggish economy community wind projects are popping up across the country. The concept of community wind is simple and flexible. Projects can be of any size, from one turbine to a hundred turbines, usually commercial-scale and greater than 100 kW turbines. These projects can be either on-site wind turbines that are used to offset the customer's electricity load, or they can generate wholesale wind energy that is sold to third parties. And while the concept is continually being re-defined as new community groups and models for ownership emerge, the key element of community wind is local ownership and local benefits.
To help get things started the National 25X'25 Alliance, Energy Foundation and Harvesting Clean Energy have released a primer called "Community Wind 101; A Primer for Policymakers." The primer confirms that wind power economic benefits from local ownership can be multiplied in the range of two to three times or more compared to standard development models.