Wind Working Group Toolkit

From Open Energy Information

Photo from First Wind, NREL 16738

In the past decade, wind has become one of the fastest-growing sources of electricity generation in the United States. Wind turbine technologies and project costs have changed rapidly in recent years. Wind farm siting and technological improvements have reduced wind energy costs and impacts to neighbors and the environment. At the same time, the benefits of wind energy and diversity of possible applications have continued to increase. WINDExchange disseminates information from U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wind Energy Technologies Office research and cultivates networks of regional partners to help support the effective transfer of information, using forums such as this wiki toolkit.

WINDExchange provides wind energy information that is fact-based, relevant, and actionable so that:

  • Individuals and communities can make informed decisions about the benefits and impacts of wind energy.
  • Decision-makers involved in wind energy planning and permitting are supported with current and credible information.

Siting Wind Projects

Environmental impacts are important considerations in siting wind energy projects, just as they should be for other power plant or transmission line projects.[1] Environmental and other siting issues can be raised during the permitting process for wind projects. In many cases, issues raised during the permitting process for wind turbines can be similar to issues raised for permitting other development projects; in other cases, the issues are unique to the wind technology. The successful development of a wind project is typically the result of balancing the project’s economic viability and overcoming any siting issues. If a project will cost too much as a result of environmental or community issues, the developer will probably terminate pursuit of the wind project — as would be the case with any other type of development project.

Siting and public decision-makers may face:

  • Conflicting info, competing claims, valid and baseless concerns
  • An absence of independent (scientific, peer-reviewed) information.[2]

The following pages provide links to resources that provide credible information about wind energy siting:

Federal, State, & Local Policies



  1.  "National Wind Coordinating Committee. Technical Considerations in Siting Wind Developments"
  2.  "National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Social Acceptance of Wind Energy: Managing and Evaluating Its Market Impacts"