Energizing Rural Communities through AgWind

By Lloyd Ritter, DWEA Policy Director

Together with Texas USDA specialists and others, AgWind, DWEA’s Justice40-focused outreach to agricultural markets designed to boost DW installations across rural America, is hosting a community workshop unveiling the “AgWind Feasibility Assessment” site evaluation tool at the San Patricio Fairgrounds on June 18.

As part of HeroX-funded outreach to address higher energy costs faced by rural and remote communities, lack of awareness of reliable DW solutions, siting concerns, and other key market barriers, DWEA is mailing postcards to 500+ nearby farmers and ranchers and partnering with USDA and other diverse stakeholders to energize on-site wind development in the Texas Gulf coast.

AgWind is seeking to empower and educate rural communities about DW incentives and potential earnings to enhance energy independence and economic resilience, beginning with pilot efforts in this underserved rural Texas community. AgWind’s approach, engaging directly with rural property owners as well as local leaders, ensures locally-owned wind installations align with local values and needs. AgWind is gathering community input and developing meaningful connections to replicate in other rural communities and ramp up adoption of DW systems with resources for planning and maintaining DW installations.

Through DWEA’s Hero-X Prize and other pending grant applications, AgWind is working to develop a suite of technical assistance services, including the site screening and multi-model “Wind Turbine Performance & Economics Evaluation Tool” to help rural landowners assess wind energy earnings potential for their specific properties. Reports from the AgWind Tool can be used for USDA REAP applications.

AgWind’s workshop and Tool will showcase DW’s transformative power helping communities build local resilience and control energy expenses with reliable on-site power. AgWind highlights how DW projects create jobs, stimulate local economies, and support communities in achieving climate goals. Beyond DW education, AgWind offers tailored wind resource assessments, connecting property owners with wind energy dealers, developers, service providers, and financing options, including incentives.

In this first workshop, AgWind will spotlight for Texas Gulf Coast property owners and community leaders the USDA REAP program as well as no-cost AgWind site screenings, feasibility analyses, and financial referrals for personalized guidance to address energy goals, making it easy to assess wind potential and jumpstart rural DW development.

Keep an eye on www.AgWindEnergy.org for updates on this important DWEA initiative!