The Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) has entered into a formal partnership with the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) that will enable the organizations to strengthen their representation of the small and community wind industry here in the United States. The two associations will collaborate on building the distributed and community wind markets nationally, as well as coordinating on federal and state policy initiatives. 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 1MW to 20MW, 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.
"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.
"We are pleased to partner with AWEA on their distributed and community wind work." said DWEA Executive Director Jennifer Jenkins. "We look forward to fostering a collaborative network of community and distributed wind members and continuing to build and expand this growing industry together."
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.
"All sizes and models of development are important if the US wind industry is to grow to at least 20% of our nation's electricity portfolio. AWEA encourages all business models so that more people have a stake in the future of this technology," said Kiernan.
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 maximize 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.