DWEA Releases Policy Recommendations for Distributed Wind Infrastructure

DWEA Releases Policy Recommendations for Distributed Wind Infrastructure


Contact: Lloyd Ritter, lritter@greencapitol.net, 202-215-5512

April 14, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Distributed Wind Energy Association released a white paper outlining 10 bold policy initiatives to expand U.S. distributed wind turbine manufacturing and community-based deployment.

DWEA believes that 35 GW of distributed wind energy capacity can be deployed by 2035, with half of the new capacity manufactured and installed to benefit disadvantaged communities and communities affected by the energy transition. This could create 85,000 U.S. jobs overall and reduce carbon emissions by 82 million tons, equivalent to taking 16 million cars off the road.

Lloyd Ritter, federal policy director for the Distributed Wind Energy Association, stated, “Distributed wind energy is a shovel-ready, low-carbon technology for deployment at up to 49.5 million sites across the United States. It can bring clean energy and jobs to communities that need them most. The time is right to update federal policy and secure this clean energy future.”

“U.S. wind energy companies are global technology and manufacturing leaders. Federal support is key to ensuring they can continue to compete in global markets,” stated Mike Bergey, DWEA Board President.

“Supporting American manufacturing with smart deployment and economic opportunities will cultivate clean energy reach to disadvantaged rural and other communities,” stated Trudy Forsyth, DWEA Board Treasurer.

DWEA’s policy recommendations are:

1.            Extend and expand existing tax credits for residential and commercial purchasers and offer a cash option for non-profit tax filers.

2.            Fund U.S. Department of Energy distributed wind at $500M over the next ten years, with 50% designated for deployment in disadvantaged or transitioning communities.

3.            Offer revised and expanded distributed wind energy deployment financing for systems up to 2.5 MW in capacity.

4.            Offer scale-up loans for manufacturing of distributed wind turbines up to 1MW in capacity.

5.            Institute a national “Freedom to Install Wind” regulation to overcome local zoning and permitting barriers to small-scale wind projects.

6.            Ramp up USDA Title IX programs such as Renewable Energy for America (REAP) and Rural Energy Savings (RESP) to provide funding for rural development, include a REAP “Reserve Fund” for underserved renewable technologies.

7.            Ensure distributed wind energy is part of any national critical infrastructure resilience program.

8.            Institute national net metering through 2035 for underserved, small-scale, clean renewable technologies.

9.            Institute National Interconnection Standards.

10.         Enable remotely sited community wind to address energy equity.


About the Distributed Wind Energy Association: The Distributed Wind Energy Association is a trade association comprised of manufacturers, distributors, project developers, dealers, installers, and advocates, whose primary mission is to promote and foster all aspects of the American distributed wind energy industry. Distributed wind is the use of typically smaller wind turbines and small projects at homes, farms, businesses, and public facilities to off-set all or a portion of on-site energy consumption. It also includes community wind and smaller projects connected to the distribution grid. DWEA seeks to represent members and associates from all sectors with relevant interests pertaining to the distributed wind industry. For more information on DWEA, please go to www.distributedwind.org. Follow us on Twitter @DWEA and like us on Facebook.

Winds of Change: Add Your Logo to DWEA’s FY22 Federal Funding Sign-on Letter!

Winds of Change: Add Your Logo to DWEA’s FY22 Federal Funding Sign-on Letter!

The winds of change are blowing through D.C. – DWEA is working hard to secure funding during the fiscal year 2022 federal appropriations process and capture that same energy to build support for distributed and community wind. Our FY 2022 appropriations sign-on letter will be soon submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate Appropriations Committees. If you represent an organization or business that supports local clean energy – add your logo and make your voice heard!

RENEWALS: click through this short form if no changes from last year

Individuals: You can help too! Share this post far and wide, add your email to our contact list, and if you’re feeling inspired, even reach out to some organizations and companies you think could support the letter – personal requests work best!

We’re especially looking for support in key states including: OH, VT, MT, IA, MN, CA, WA, WI, OR, AK

^^^And see over 190 current supporters!

For more info: email advocacy@distributedwind.org

Texans: Distributed Wind Will Save The Grid

What Caused the Blackouts?

As power grids throughout America continue to recover from an extreme freezing event and planned outages subside, there is no shortage of people looking for something to blame for the cause of the grid failure. Everything from State-isolated grids, frozen turbines, curtailed gas production, and poor maintenance is being discussed. This article does not seek to itemize the contributing factors. The root cause boils down to one thing: electricity demand exceeded supply.

Distributed Wind would have Helped the Grid

All types of distributed energy resources (DERs) with modern power electronics will help stabilize the grid during periods of high demand. The newest standards require that DERs like solar, wind or battery storage remain connected during grid events, rather than turning off and letting the power company stabilize the grid on their own, which was previously “standard operating procedure”. Distributed wind turbines are especially useful because the wind blows day and night providing a 24hr power capability unmatched by solar.

What is Distributed Wind Energy?

Distributed Wind is the practice of installing small(er) wind turbines close to the point of energy consumption; like at a farm, home site, school, or community. Learn more about the definition and benefits of distributed wind here. Even while remaining connected to the grid, every bit of power generated on-site by a distributed wind turbine strengthens the grid by eliminating the need to transport power long distances. Excess power generated by the turbine that is not used on site is sent back to the grid and powers anything nearby that is connected to the grid. This benefits the whole community. Now it is easy to see how Distributed Wind would help during blackouts – we just need more participation!

How Do I Get a Distributed Wind Turbine?

Not every site is appropriate for a wind turbine. First, you need to have a good wind resource. The National Renewable Energy lab has a free tool for basic wind resource assessments called The Wind Prospector. Second, you need to work through a sometimes-challenging local permitting application. But don’t worry, a certified installer can help you through this process and the Distributed Wind Energy Association is working tirelessly to improve the burdensome and inconsistent permitting process for wind turbines throughout the US. Finally, you need approval from the power company to feed power back into the grid. With the latest UL1741 certified inverters, these installations are welcome and sometimes encouraged by the local utility provider.

Battery Storage: Now It Gets Even Better

Anyone can see that the sun does not shine at night and wind doesn’t blow every hour of the day, so battery energy storage is a technology that benefits all types of distributed generators. The addition of a battery energy storage system provides the security of reliable power to a home and the grid even when the wind is not blowing.

Rescue the Grid with Distributed Wind

How can Distributed Wind help Texas? Let’s take a look at the Texas electricity grid right now as it continues to recover. A snapshot of Texas’s electricity grid outage at the time of this writing is captured (top) along with a wind resource assessment designed for distributed wind turbines.


maps.nrel.gov/wind-prospector – 2013 average annual windspeed @ 40m

Now let’s look at some areas where they overlap. Remember – this is only an example based upon the current state of the grid and “cherry-picking” locations where distributed wind would help the most right now.

Overlay of current grid outages + distributed wind resource assessment

It is immediately clear that the Texas Hill Country, West of San Antonio, has an adequate wind resource at 40m to support distributed installations. These installations would not only help the local grid but would also take some of the load off of major nearby urban centers, like Austin and San Antonio where a small wind turbine might not be practical in the back yard of a subdivision. From this map, it’s already easy to see why Texas is America’s wind generator.

Energy Equity – The Future of Distributed Generation

Distributed generation not only puts power into the hands of consumers, it also creates jobs and income in areas where wind might not have previously been a valuble resource. It also uplifts communities, and does so in a green and sustainable way. The Distributed Wind Energy Association believes that distributed energy generation is the future, and invites you to learn more. Find out what it’s all about and join conversation today at distributedwind.org.

A Solution for Abandoned Wind Turbines

There are a number of abandoned wind turbines across the United States. These turbines are referred to as orphaned turbines. 

Some wind farmers hit hard times with the COVID-19 pandemic and couldn’t pay for repairs, so these turbines were left still and quiet. Others are legacy turbines that haven’t generated power in years — it’s far more cost effective to let turbines stand than pay to deconstruct and recycle them. 

These orphaned, desolate turbines don’t look great for the wind energy industry.

That’s why the Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) has created a new platform dedicated to bringing orphaned turbines back to life. 

A special DWEA Orphaned Turbine Committee has created a forum to connect people all over the nation to come together and breathe new life into orphaned wind turbines. On this forum, you can:

  • Connect with installation and maintenance knowledge
  • Speak with technicians
  • Buy/sell used components
  • Find spare parts
  • Interact with the pulse of the industry

Join the DWEA Forum Today


Sign up to become a DWEA member and become a part of the distributed wind conversation. 



Distributed wind supporters – we have a quick turn-around to gather sign-ons for a new Congressional funding letter, hope to include your companies/organizations as co-signers!

See below for current language. Can you approve including your logo and location(s) similar to last year’s letter?

Who else could you invite? To effectively urge support for DW federal Appropriations, we’re looking to line up a few more signers ASAP in: AK, NH, MT, OR, WI, MN, VT, WA and CA – we’d appreciate if you can quickly send our request along to colleagues working in any of those key states.

Thanks for your consideration, especially during this challenging time – distributed wind has an important role to serve in recovery efforts!

Heather, Lloyd, Britton & Jane

July 28, 2020

Chairman Lamar Alexander, U.S. Senate
Chairwoman Marcy Kaptur, U.S. House of Representatives

Ranking Member Diane Feinstein, U.S. Senate                 
Ranking Member Mike Simpson, U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.

Subject:  FY 2021 Appropriations for Distributed Wind

Dear Chairwoman Kaptur, Ranking Member Simpson, Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Feinstein:

On behalf of the Distributed Wind Energy Association, industry and others we urge your continued support for distributed wind power as you complete work on the fiscal year 2021 appropriations process.

As you know distributed wind power has great potential to contribute to the U.S. electricity mix, creating jobs, adding to grid and off-grid resilience and security, and reducing the risk of catastrophic climate change.  Distributed wind power is popular with farmers, ranchers, small and larger businesses alike because it enables significant cost savings with minimal land disturbance while helping to protect the environment.

Distributed wind turbines dot the American landscape, from farms to factories, homes, wildlife refuges, breweries, wineries, ski resorts, and schools.  American made turbines are found in well over 100 countries as well.  And yet this is still a nascent clean energy technology ripe for growth.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates distributed wind power could reach another 49 million sites in the U.S. alone.  It has approximately the same technical potential as offshore wind power.  Notably distributed wind power works well with solar, as well as other distributed generation applications, such as wind/diesel power.  It is a particularly useful resource for rural communities, homes, dairy farms, as well as remote areas with high energy costs.

We are very appreciative of funding improvements in recent years.  This was entirely appropriate to begin correcting historic inequities and to unleash this technology’s true potential.  The funding thus far has been put to good use. 

And yet there is more to be done, including optimizing technology for grid-connected, micro-grid and off-grid market segments, expanding competitive improvement grants, reducing costs for both wind turbines and installations, addressing numerous “soft costs,” and expanding partnerships with key stakeholders; the effort required is real and substantial.

Please stay the course.  We’d urge a line item for distributed wind power this year once again, with $15m, or as close to it as possible.  Our many small businesses, manufacturers, vendors, customers, farmers, all rely heavily on this funding.  It is a vital lifeline to help bolster American jobs and manufacturing, increase farm and rural income, provide homeowners and others energy choice, improve energy security and protect the environment.

Thus, we urge you to maintain, and grow support, with clear directive language, for America’s distributed wind power community and for all the reasons noted above.

We greatly appreciate your consideration and look forward to working with you once again. 


– 70+ signers, especially in CA, OR, WA, MT, AK, MN, WI, VT, NH –

Distributed Wind 2020

Distributed Wind 2020, Feb. 26-27 in Washington DC

DWEA’s annual business conference and lobby day is your best opportunity to learn what’s new in behind-the-meter distributed wind, including DOE’s exciting new programs to advance distributed wind’s contribution to clean energy and resiliency.  DWEA’s half-day “DW on the Hill” event allows the industry and its supporter to take our message to Congressional leaders.  The agenda, registration and highly discounted hotel reservations are available HERE.