Browse Items (1153 total)

The process of selling the "green" or environmental attributes of a product.

A network of power lines or pipelines used to move energy from its source to consumers.

Permitting regulations in this category refer to the maximum total height of a wind turbine allowed. Current wind turbine designs are the result of many years of research and development in establishing the ideal height of the tower and blade lengths in order to most efficiently capture the wind resource. Counties may chose to regulate in this…

A standard unit of measurement: its units are 1/seconds. Typically used in the electricity industry to describe how many times an electrical signal repeats itself over the course of one second. Example: The electricity in the United States has a frequency of 60 Hz. This means that the signal of the U.S Electric System repeats itself 60 times per…

The height of the tower where a wind energy conversion system is mounted measuring from the ground.

An electricity generator that sells power but is not owned by a utility.

An independent third party responsible for maintaining secure and economic operation of an open access transmission system on a regional basis. An ISO provides availability and transmission pricing services to all users of the transmission grid.

All the expenses required to construct and get a turbine up and running including but not limited to foundation construction, laying of electrical wire, crane, labor, and other associated costs.

The process of connecting an electrical generator to the electrical power grid or the physical location of the connection of an electrical generator to the electrical power grid.

A legally binding document that defines the technical and contractual terms under which a generator can interconnect and deliver energy to a transmission operating utility’s system.

A financial calculation that compares the present value of a project’s expected revenues with the present value of its expected costs. The IRR calculation is used to determine the discount rate at which the two values are equal. By doing this calculation, investors are able to see the project’s expected rate of return. The IRR will be a number…

A utility owned by private investors as opposed to one owned by a public trust or agency; a commercial, for-profit utility as opposed to a co-op or municipal utility.

A notice from the IRS that makes a ruling on how a particular portion of the tax code applies in a specific instance for an individual or business. Many community wind projects have asked the IRS for rulings on the ability of the project’s business structure to take advantage of the production tax credit (and other tax advantages) in a way that…

The basic unit of electric demand, equal to 1,000 watts.

A unit of energy equal to 1,000 watt-hours. The basic measure of electric energy generation or use. A 100-watt light bulb that is left on for 10 hours uses one kilowatt-hour.

A landowner wind energy association, or LWEA, consists of a group of landowners who have decided to work together to have more control over the wind leasing process than they would have individually.

Commercial wind turbines are installed on tall towers and proper lighting is required for the safety of any nearby aviation facilities. There are also concerns with the impacts different lighting mechanisms may have on local communities and wildlife. All wind projects must comply with any applicable Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)…

A type of business structure in which owners are not liable for things that go wrong that are not the owners' responsibility. This offers owners some legal protection in case of accidents and disasters.

The amount of electric power drawn at a specific time from an electric system, or the total power drawn from the system. Peak load is the amount of power drawn at the time of highest electrical demand. Or a device or aggregation of devices that are connected to an electrical system that consume electrical power.

The reserve account of cash balances set aside to cover a project's maintenance and repair expenses.

Equal to 1,000 kilowatts or 1 million watts.

Equal to 1,000 kilowatt-hours or 1 million watt-hours.

Refers to wind projects where a private contractor builds a new facility without a power purchase agreement and guaranteed revenue stream. In a deregulated power market a merchant wind projects sell their electricity at spot market prices.

A tower used at a potential project site which has equipment attached to it which is designed to assess wind resource. Generally a met tower will have anemometers, wind direction vanes, temperature and pressure sensors, and other measurement devices attached to it at various levels above the ground.

The independent system operator for the Midewest.

The Minnesota Flip is a business model designed to help local wind project owners with minimal tax appetite pair up with a larger entity that has a more substantial tax burden. Because the tax credits available to project owners are proportional to their level of ownership in the project, the tax motivated entity is the majority owner in the first…

Businesses can recover investments in certain property through depreciation deductions. The MACRS establishes a set of class lives for various types of property, ranging from three to 50 years, over which the property may be depreciated. For solar, wind, and geothermal property placed in service after 1986, the current MACRS property class is five…

The term “multiplier effect” as it pertains to the local economy and wind project development describes how increased spending in one part of a economy starts a chain reaction that results in an overall increase in economic activity. When a consumer spends money to buy goods or services at a local business, the local business will, in turn,…

A utility owned by a city to supply utility services to residents in that city. Generally, surpluses in revenues or over-expenditures are contributed to the city budget.

Wind energy projects developed by small political subdivisions of cities and townships, rural electrification cooperatives, and other municipal or quasi-municipal entities or municipally owned corporations that provide electric transmission, distribution or generation services.

The maximum output rating of a wind generator. A wind turbine that has a 1 MW nameplate capacity will produce 1 MW of power when operating at it’s rated output.

The concept of net metering programs is to allow utility customers to generate their own electricity from renewable resources, such as small wind turbines and solar electric systems. The customers send excess electricity back to the utility when their wind system, for example, produces more power than they need. Customers can then get power from…


A common financial concept (and a critical component of Minnesota’s C-BED tariff), reflecting the idea that having a given amount of money today is more valuable than receiving the same amount of money in the future. C-BED requires utilities to determine the net present value of their rate schedule using the standard discount factor that they…

An electrical generator that can provide support to the system in terms of real or reactive power supply, spinning reserve, or other services that the system operator requires to keep the system operating in a safe and reliable manner. Generally wind projects can only qualify as an energy resource because of their non-dispatchable nature, i.e. they…

Wind turbine noise and associated impacts are some of the more important issues facing local authorities in permitting wind projects. Regulations in this category generally refer to a decibel measurement of the sound emissions from a turbine, and increasingly local authorities are asked to consider the concerns of the community in setting these…

A generator that is owned and operated by an entity which is not a regulated electric utility.

The contract for operating and maintaining a project which defined terms, fees, schedules, and other details.

Electricity supplied during periods of low system demand.

The purchaser of the electricity from a wind project, for example: a utility company.

A electric transformer that is mounted on the ground as opposed to a pole mounted transformer. A pole mounted transformer is mounted on a pole that holds electric power lines.

A business structure that allows tax credits and operating gains and losses to be allocated to the owners of the business rather than the business itself, which prevents the income of the business from being taxed twice. Some examples of pass-through entities that would qualify for the federal production tax credit include: limited liability…

Certain types of income, as defined by the IRS, such as rental income or income from businesses, in which the earner serves only as an investor and is not actively engaged in running the investment as defined by the IRS. See Passive Tax Appetite.

Income from certain types of investments qualifies as passive income. Tax paid on this income is considered passive tax. To take advantage of the Federal Production Tax Credit (the PTC) and Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS), you or a project partner must be paying taxes that fit into this category of tax liability. For more…

Negotiated payments between the local taxing authority and a wind project. These payments compensate for excessive use of infrastructure in the area while developing the project and allow the local community to benefit from wind energy development. Property taxes and PILOTs contribute a great deal to the tax revenue of many windy rural areas and…

The greatest demand placed on an electric system; measured in kilowatts or megawatts; also, the time of day or season of the year when that demand occurs.

The amount of electric power required by a consumer or a system during peak demand; measured in kilowatts or megawatts.

Most, if not all, county permits for wind energy conversion systems are conditional use permits. Often the permitting authority will establish threshold requirements, as seen with the ordinances in the County Wind Ordinance Survey.


A map showing politically defined sections and townships that shows who holds the deed to the parcels of land contained within.

The instantaneous power output of a specific turbine design at various wind speeds. Used with wind resource data to determine the potential for electricity generation at a project site.

A contract between a seller of electricity and purchaser for a set period of time to buy the electricity generated by a power plant.