James Madison University

Local Planning and State Policy

Planning for wind energy doesn’t just occur at the national level; county and local planners play a critical role in determining the considerations and guidelines for various scales of wind energy at the county or independent city level. There are numerous factors to consider when planning for wind energy such as setbacks, sound limits, decommissioning guidelines, allowable land-uses, and height restrictions, to name a few. The documents and websites below are resources that will provide details to enable informed decision making.

While local planning for wind energy is essential, it should be done in coordination with state policies.


  • Permit by Rule (PBR) applies to wind projects up to 100MW
    • The PBR is a streamlined process whereby an applicant must meet certain criteria, submit a proposal with the required ancillary documents, and if the application is complete and adheres to the criteria, the project is authorized under the PBR.
  • PPA Pilot Dominion Territory - Capped at 1MW per project, 50MW total program. PPA "leniency" allows tax exempt entities to benefit from 30% PTC for solar/wind (Investor owns the system and passes along savings to the customer).