View our most recent wind energy report which includes information on steps local governments have taken so far and an example of a beneficial wind energy ordinance.
Substantial wind resources have been identified in the Shenandoah Valley, although they pale in comparison to wind power off Virginia’s coasts. The strongest wind resources in the Valley are located on the ridge lines of the Blue Ridge. These resources have attracted the attention of large scale wind investors since 2001 and have raised concerns about impacts of industrial wind development on forests, water quality, wildlife, historic resources, and scenic vistas.
There also is enough wind power at lower elevations in the Valley to support the development of small wind projects to power individual homes, businesses, and farms. These more modest wind resources provide opportunities for private landowners, farms, businesses, and other energy users. Most smaller scale projects on open lands have not generated the impacts or opposition of larger wind power projects.
SVN commissioned Land Use Planner John D. Hutchinson to report on wind energy in the Shenandoah Valley. Covered topics include: proposed wind projects in Virginia, local responses to wind projects, and planning and zoning for wind projects in Virginia. The report also includes a model wind energy ordinance for the Shenandoah Valley.
Read the 2009 report: “Local Ordinances to Regulate Wind Energy Projects” (PDF)