Rockingham County - Small Wind Ordinance (Virginia)

From Open Energy Information

Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place Virginia
Name Rockingham County - Small Wind Ordinance
Incentive Type Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Applicable Sector Agricultural, Commercial, Construction, Industrial, Institutional, Local Government, Nonprofit, Residential, Schools
Eligible Technologies Wind
Active Incentive Yes
Implementing Sector Local
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs

Date added to DSIRE 2005-01-12
Last DSIRE Review 2012-06-04

References DSIRE[1]


In October 2004, the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors approved a zoning ordinance for small wind energy systems, the first of its kind in Virginia. Students at James Madison University drafted the original ordinance with guidance from members of the Virginia Wind Energy Collaborative (VWEC) and assistance from members of Rockingham County's planning board.

Although net metering is not required, the ordinance complements the state's net-metering regulations and requires compliance with the Uniform Statewide Building Code, FAA Regulations, National Electrical Code, and Virginia Regulations Governing Net Metering.

Other key provisions include:

  • Use of wind turbine must be primarily to reduce on-site electricity consumption.
  • Minimum parcel size of 1 acre.
  • Maximum height of 65 feet for parcels of land between 1 and 5 acres, and 80 feet for a parcel larger than five acres.
  • Setback from property lines of 110% of tower height and 150% setback from inhabited dwelling on neighboring property. These limits may be reduced with consent of the adjacent property owner.
  • Noise limit of 60 decibels at the closest property line.
  • Proof of liability insurance for system

The Shenandoah Valley Network commissioned a report in early 2009 called Local Ordinances to Regulate Wind Energy Projects that provides a summary of other counties in the state of Virginia with local ordinances, and also suggests a model wind ordinance for the area.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Remy Luerssen
Department Virginia Wind Energy Collaborative
Division Integrated Science and Technology
Address James Madison University
Place Harrisonburg, Virginia
Zip/Postal Code 22802
Phone (540) 568-3202


Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: County of Rockingham Code Sec. 17-146. Division 6B Wind Energy Systems
Date Enacted 10/2004

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"