A Comparative Analysis of Community Wind Power DevelopmentModels

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For years, farmers in the United States have looked with envy on their European counterparts ability to profitably farm the wind through ownership of distributed, utility-scale wind projects. Only within the past few years, however, has farmer- or community-owned windpower development become a reality in the United States. The primary hurdle to this type of development in the United States has been devising and implementing suitable business and legal structures that enable such projects to take advantage of tax-based federal incentives for windpower. This article discusses the limitations of such incentives in supporting farmer- or community-owned wind projects, describes four ... continued below

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Bolinger, Mark; Wiser, Ryan; Wind, Tom; Juhl, Dan; Grace, Robert & West, Peter May 20, 2005.

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For years, farmers in the United States have looked with envy on their European counterparts ability to profitably farm the wind through ownership of distributed, utility-scale wind projects. Only within the past few years, however, has farmer- or community-owned windpower development become a reality in the United States. The primary hurdle to this type of development in the United States has been devising and implementing suitable business and legal structures that enable such projects to take advantage of tax-based federal incentives for windpower. This article discusses the limitations of such incentives in supporting farmer- or community-owned wind projects, describes four ownership structures that potentially overcome such limitations, and finally conducts comparative financial analysis on those four structures, using as an example a hypothetical 1.5 MW farmer-owned project located in the state of Oregon. We find that material differences in the competitiveness of each structure do exist, but that choosing the best structure for a given project will largely depend on the conditions at hand; e.g., the ability of the farmer(s) to utilize tax credits, preference for individual versus cooperative ownership, and the state and utility service territory in which the project will be located.

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  • WINDPOWER 2005 (American Wind EnergyAssociation), Denver, Colorado, May 15-18, 2005

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  • Report No.: LBNL--58043
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 860790
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc786447

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  • May 20, 2005

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • April 1, 2016, 7:18 p.m.

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Bolinger, Mark; Wiser, Ryan; Wind, Tom; Juhl, Dan; Grace, Robert & West, Peter. A Comparative Analysis of Community Wind Power DevelopmentModels, article, May 20, 2005; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc786447/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.