I'm here in Scituate, Massachusetts, where a community wind turbine has recently been installed. As one of four Massachusetts Green Communities last year, Sustainable Scituate surveyed 350 roofs for solar in this lovely, forested town. Only 30 went solar, so a solar garden is next - but wind will always be the renewable workhorse in this breezy coastal town.
John Farrell's excellent commentary on community wind:
Since community-owned wind projects create up to twice the jobs and over three times the local economic impact compared to absentee-owned projects, small policy changes that make community ownership easier can have a big impact.
There are other solutions afoot for community wind, including the Community Wind Act. This U.S. Senate bill would allow distributed wind projects – 20 megawatts and smaller – to take the upfront Investment Tax Credit instead of the PTC. The change provides one big advantage: community wind projects have a harder time getting capital, so upfront cash helps secure financing.
Joy Hughes, Founder, Solar Gardens Institute http://www.solargardens.org
CEO, Solar Panel Hosting LLC http://www.solarpanelhosting.com