The Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) recently entered into a formal partnership with the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) in a deal that will enable the organizations to strengthen their representation of the small and community wind industry here in the United States. Specifically, the two associations will collaborate on building the distributed and community wind markets nationally. They will also coordinate efforts as it pertains to federal and state policy initiatives.
By joining forces, AWEA and DWEA will be able to more effectively secure and allocate resources to support the growing community wind energy market. As members of both DWEA and AWEA, distributed and community wind companies, will have even greater opportunity to take advantage of targeted publications, reports, policy initiatives and networking opportunities offered by both organizations.
“This partnership will serve to strengthen our relationship with DWEA while better serving our collective members through efficiencies and communication,” said Tom Kiernan, AWEA CEO.
DWEA concurs. “We are pleased to partner with AWEA on their distributed and community wind work.” said Jennifer Jenkins, DWEA executive director. “We look forward to fostering a collaborative network of community and distributed wind members and continuing to build and expand this growing industry together.”
Community wind is characterized by local participation, usually in the form of ownership and control. Individual landowners have a personal stake in the success of this industry and are looking for ways to maximise the value of wind for their communities. Local communities, including agricultural and rural economic development interests, can help build the industry’s success in their backyards. A variety of business models and applications have emerged in this growing form of wind energy development.
Applications can be "behind the meter" (providing electricity directly to the home /business/school), or mini-wind farms selling power to the local utility. Community wind projects usually range in size from less than 1 MW to 20 MW, and are sometimes larger. Wind projects owned by public power entities (cooperatives and municipalities) are considered community wind, as they are owned by the local electricity customers.