The Virginia Wind Working Group (WWG) was established in 2002 according to the Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America Program. The focus of this group is to identify barriers to wind energy development in Virginia and develop solutions to address these barriers. The VA WWG aims to communicate wind opportunities objectively and interact with various stakeholders at the local, state, regional and national levels.
While the State Wind Working Groups continues to be active, the newly formed Regional Resource Centers will address various barriers onshore and offshore related to various issues, with similar goals to the State Wind Working Group.
A 2013 Navigant study revealed that WPA plays a “vital role as a source of credible and unbiased technical information” to various stakeholders, and “the program’s most important channel for impacting [utility-scale and small wind] capacity additions has been through activities that influence the state and local policies that support the wind market.
Regional Resource Centers (RRC’s) will provide technical expertise and tools, ensuring smart and informed decisions-making, maximize local implementation of national outreach priorities, provide science-based decision tools, and educate communities about the impact of wind development. These activities will be conducted to provide accurate information about barriers to wind deployment in the region, create an educated stakeholder community, and catalyze fact-based decision making regarding wind energy projects of all types.
The Center is part of the Southeastern RRC, managed by the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition (SECWC). This RRC is focused on engaging a broad range of stakeholders who may have different views on wind energy to growing the industry in a responsible way. The Center will be contributing mainly in the area of distributed wind with outreach to local decision-makers, industry, and the public. Much of the Center’s work will be with ordinance development.