Respect and Restore: Reassessing Local Wind Energy Standards

Wind energy continues to be a growing industry in the United States. Several states are tapping this renewable resource for over 20% of their power needs. As growth continues, projects are breaking new ground. Developers are interacting with more communities and landowners in the process.

While landowners received at least $180 million in land lease payments (and that number could continue to grow to $1 billion annually by 2050), many still face challenges from the development of projects on their land. Many counties and municipalities are reassessing their  standards for zoning and siting requirements or developing them for the first time.

This report describes the typical elements in the construction process, and lays out potential problems landowners and communities might face. We review county regulations for commercial wind energy systems. Finally, we provide recommendations for future development of wind energy systems.