Virginia Wind Power Rebate Program
The Virginia Wind Power Rebate Program was established in March, 2010 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 as a means to promote the use of clean, renewable energy in the state of Virginia. The Virginia Center for Wind Energy at James Madison University has partnered with the Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy (DMME) to assist private landowners and businesses with their projects to ensure that they are feasible and installed safely.
Currently the application period for this program is closed.
If you are a rebate customer, review the terms and conditions (PDF) of the rebate program to ensure that your project will satisfy the requirements.
“ Installing any renewable energy equipment on a structure more than 50 years old, or that may be deemed a historic structure, or which is adjacent to a historic structure or historic district may require further consideration under the National Historic Preservation Act or other statutes. The Virginia Department of Historic Resources has determined that installing a renewable energy system on any property, historic or not, will require the completion of a “Project Review Application Form”, Sections I and III. Applicant is responsible for complying with the Act and can find additional information, the required Project Review Application Form regarding historic properties, and contact information for the Department of Historic Resources at: http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DE/ARRA-Public/SolarWindProgram.shtml.”
Approved Turbine List
Installed turbine must be on the approved wind turbine technology list for you to receive a rebate. This approved turbine list was adopted from the NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) and will be updated as new technologies are added to their list. Click on the turbine name to access a spec sheet about the system.
Note that under the terms and conditions no used systems may be installed and existing systems may not be upgraded.
If you have chosen a turbine and it is not on this list and you would like to have it added, you will need to prove that this technology is on another states approved technology list. Please contact us at VAcenter4windenergy@jmu.edu or call 540-568-8770 with this info so that we can fully discuss the technology and its potential for approval in VA.
The Rebate Process at JMU
Below are the steps that JMU is taking to help with the development of these projects:
- Gather project details
We have emailed all customers to gather specific information about the details and progress of their projects such as system selected, permitting status, and installer chosen. If you are a customer and have not yet received any emails or have not sent us this information please contact us at VAcenter4windenergy@jmu.edu or call 540-568-8770. JMU must approve your project before you move forward or you may not receive your rebate.
- Working with installers
We are working to organize an small wind installer base in Virginia, so that we have a group of highly trained and experienced professionals to complete these projects. We will be offering a series of training workshops to ensure that all installers interested in working with the rebate program are qualified. Download a list of installers (PDF) in Virginia.
We encourage you to contact more than one of the installers on the list above to decide which installer you will ultimately choose to perform your installation. Once you have decided on an installer, please contact us. If you have do not choose an installer by SEPTEMBER 30th either JMU will assign you one or we will give your name to all installers and they will contact you.
If you have chosen an installer and they are not on this list or you know of anyone who would like to become an installer please contact us at VAcenter4windenergy@jmu.edu or call 540-568-8770. Additionally, if you would like to offer your project as an installer training location, please contact us. JMU must approve your installer before you move forward.
- Reviewing installed projects
JMU will review all progress as projects are installed as well as review final project documentation for submission to DMME for rebate funds.
Please keep JMU informed of any progress on your project:
- Turbine chosen
- Installer chosen
- Cost, production and economic analysis received from installer
- Site visit scheduled
- Contract signed
- Installation completed and inspected
Any turbines that were installed before the rebate program was announced (after June 26th, 2009) may also be reviewed to ensure proper installation and accurate cost and production expectations were met. Any turbines installed after JMU was given administrative responsibility of project development (March 10, 2010 for those approved in the first batch and May 24, 2010 for those that entered during the second period) without JMUs approval may be in jeopardy of not receiving rebate funds.
- Redeeming your Rebate
Complete and sign Rebate Certification Worksheet Worksheet (PDF) and submit to DMME with all required documentation as specified on the last page of the Certification Worksheet.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: If I'm awarded a rebate, how long before it is received?
- A: Within 4-6 weeks of DMME approving all documentation
- Q: What is the average project payback timeframe for wind turbine systems in Virginia?
- A: Factors that contribute to this type of number include each site's; wind speed turbine is exposed to, turbine type, electric use on site, ease of construction, utilization of other incentives/credits/rebates, development costs including permits and engineering, etc. These types of projects are typically not installed to make money, but are more likely installed for an individual looking to be green. A project with a fantastic wind resource and that is eligible for DMME funds, the ITC, and a USDA grant, could see a return on investment in 13 to 15 years. For a project that is well maintained throughout its life, this "payback" is around half of many small turbines life expectancy. Payback is not a good measurement of project viability.
- Q: How do I acquire the appropriate permits for my tower?
- A: Work with an experienced and trusted installer. Education of the permitting authority is a necessity as well. Talk with your neighbors with factual information to support your project.
- Q: Which wind turbine should I choose for my project?
- A: Do your own research; AWEA, HomePower Magazine, Windustry, MREA, talk to multiple installers for their recommendations.
- Q: What other federal rebate or tax credit programs are available?
- USDA if you are a rural small business or farmer, Federal Tax Credit equal to 30% of total installed project.
- Q: Who do I contact about permits?
- A: Work with an experienced and trusted installer. Contact your local permitting authority, armed with factual information on your proposed project.
- Q: What do I do if my neighbors are against my putting up a wind turbine?
- A: Address concerns directly with factual information. Keep dialogue open. Identify resources to help address your neighbor's questions and concerns, including an experienced and trusted installer,
- Q: How tall of a tower should I install my turbine on?
- A: A good general rule of thumb is the bottom of the blades should be 30' above anything within 500' of the tower. This will allow your turbine to be exposed to less turbulence, increasing turbine longevity and performance. A taller tower may be more expensive initially, but in the long run will be worth it via a turbine that lasts and produces. Always be considerate of trees that will grow!
- Q: What if my town won't let me put up a tower as tall as I want/need?
- A: This is where your installer truly proves his or her worth. Educating the permitting authority as to why your tower needs this height for your project to be a success is one good focus. Another is to address their concerns, typically related to safety or aesthetics. A safety concern can be placated with engineering drawings of the structures. Aesthetics being an objective view are best kept out of permitting meetings, but photographs of similarly installed projects or field trips to physical installations are always a help.
The initial projects installed in Virginia are the seeds for success of small wind in Virginia. If these projects are allowed to be built without educating permitting the customers and authorities of the inherent needs of wind turbines, the potential for a sustainable small wind market will not be realized.
- Q: What wind speed is required to put up a turbine?
- A: Wind class 2 v 1, 0 ineligible…