Newly Updated Web-Based Tool Helps Examine Best Use of Incentive Dollars for On-site Wind


New York and Massachusetts increase rank while California and Vermont scale back

Comparing the combined impact of state and federal policies for small-scale wind is now easier thanks to a recent facelift of the Distributed Wind Policy Comparison Tool, available at Oregon, New York, and Massachusetts show the most favorable net cost of energy (COE) for small wind projects, while recent changes to incentives in California and Vermont have worsened those states’ market environment compared to previous years.

The tool was developed with the support of the Department of Energy’s Wind and Water Power Program as a collaborative project of eFormative Options, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center.  First released in 2011, the Policy Tool is a one-stop shop for information related to the cost, policies, incentives and other details associated with smaller, consumer-owned wind power generation. Data is pooled from various sources and the numbers are crunched to determine key financial results for each state, including the number of years to simple payback, the cost of energy (COE), the internal rate of return, and net present value. The Policy Tool was created to help policymakers, industry representatives and advocates better understand the key differences that exist between states’ distributed wind policies and keep tabs on the complex, ever-changing landscape.

In the newly released Policy Tool Version 2.0, data are updated to better reflect the current state of affairs across the U.S. And now the Policy Tool has more user-friendly features, such as a slider bar to adjust the Annual Energy Production (AEP) and pop-up windows that define various acronyms and terms for quick reference.