James Madison University

State Energy Program - Small Wind In Virginia Now!

Principle Investigator: Environmental Resource Trust

Subcontractors: James Madison Universtiy, Debra Jacobson (GW Law), Mitch King (Old Mill Power)

SWIVN! is a program funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy. This project is intended to formulate a plan for the development of small wind systems and wind power markets throughout Virginia, and implement such a plan to the greatest extent possible. The project focuses particular attention to encouraging and siting small wind systems in economically depressed areas and opportunities for developing wind energy markets among faith-based institutions and their members. The project is also intended to develop information on other potential applications for small wind power in Virginia including on-site generation (i) for deferral facilities or other entities in Virginia coastal areas; (ii) for the U.S. Forest Service in the western regions of the state; and (iii) for residential and commercial applications including rural use. In addition, the project is intended to develop a strategy for using "green certificates" to increase small wind system development in Virginia, and to identify major barriers (such as regulatory, financial, etc.) to the development of small wind systems and strategies to overcome such barriers.

To supplement the SWIVN! project, the VWEC has created a tool to be used for economic analysis of small wind in the form of a Microsoft Excel workbook. This tool is being used to generate comprehensive economic reports for clients from four areas in the state. These reports go through the steps necessary for determining the economics of installing a wind turbine and compares the costs of turbine and utility supplied electricity over a twenty five year period. The reports also recommend the turbine best suited for installation on the client's property given their wind resource and electrical needs.

VWEC is also in the process of editing the Small Wind Electric Systems: A Virginia Consumer's Guide produced by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to include state-specific information.

Term: September 2002 - September 2004

Deliverables / Outcomes:

  • Provide input and presentations at key meetings
  • Conduct research relevant to small wind system development
  • Conduct small wind system economic feasibility analysis
  • Facilitate formation of Virginia interfaith coalition
  • Develop guidebook on small wind systems development in Virginia
  • Final briefing
  • Final report