Commonwealth Wind

MassCEC's Commonwealth Wind (CommWind) Program assists appropriately-sited wind energy development in Massachusetts that can help achieve the Commonwealth's goals for a clean environment and a robust economy. Grant funding and technical assistance is available for residential, commercial, industrial and public facilities, and is based on the size and other characteristics of the wind project. Detailed information regarding the Commonwealth Wind Program is available in the Commonwealth Wind Program Manual.

MassCEC's Acoustic Study Methodology for Wind Turbine Projects, found in the Commonwealth Wind Program Manual, establishes a standardized methodology for concluding acoustic studies for projects that receive or request technical or financial support from MassCEC.

MassCEC's Contractor Database provides a list of companies that provide various services related to wind development. Companies are listed upon request; they are not vetted or endorsed by MassCEC.

Who's Eligible?

Eligible applicants include legally-registered corporations, limited liability companies, business organizations (for profit or not-for-profit) and public entities – including federal, state and local government. Private individuals are  eligible for funding only for small wind installations where the power is used on-site.

For detailed eligibility requirements for residential, commercial and community wind projects, see the Commonwealth Wind Program Manual

How Do I Apply?

MassCEC offers solicitations on a rolling basis through the year, meaning that applications can be submitted at any time the solicitation is active.

Applicants can find further details about open solicitations in the documents linked below:

Site Assessments Solicitation & Application

Feasibility Studies Solicitation & Application & Task Order Template & Terms and Conditions

Development Grant Solicitation & Application & Task Order Template & Terms and Conditions

Grants for Small Wind Projects (this solicitation is under review) 

FAQ

How many megawatts (MW) of wind power are installed in New England?

As of July 2016, roughly 1,040 MW of wind power were operating in New England.

How many megawatts (MW) of wind power are installed in the US?

As of July 2016, over 74,000 MW of wind power were operating in the US.

How many Massachusetts towns have installed wind turbines?

As of September 2016, 34 MA towns installed large-scale (100kW and greater) wind turbines. There are numerous small scale turbines (<100kW) that are not included in this total.

What are MassCEC’s review criteria for wind projects?

  • Sufficient Safety Setbacks
  • Technical Viability
  • Economic Viability
  • Minimal Acoustic Impacts
  • Minimal Shadow Flicker Impacts
  • Minimal Environmental Impacts
  • Compliance with Regulations
  • General Community Support
Program Background

Commonwealth Wind and its predecessor programs have been providing support to electric customers and the wind community since 2000 and have helped to establish the Commonwealth as a thought leader in the field of appropriate wind energy development. MassCEC’s programmatic approach to appropriate siting for wind projects combines rigorous project analysis with careful, open decision making that involves all stakeholders.

Commonwealth Wind supports small wind, community wind and commercial wind projects. These are defined as:

  • Small wind: A wind project that utilizes wind turbines with nameplate power capacities of less than 100 kilowatts (kW).
  • Community Wind: A wind project that utilizes one or more wind turbines with power capacity of 100 kW and greater and typically 1) serves a load that is located on the project site, 2) will have a net-metering agreement with the utility company or 3) will serve the load requirements of a host municipal light department.
  • Commercial Wind: A wind project that typically serves the ISO New England wholesale electricity market or a municipal light plant system, or has an on-site load that does not qualify for net metering. Commercial Wind projects typically have three or more turbines.

Offerings under Commonwealth Wind include: Site Assessment Grants of Services, Feasibility Study Grants, Development Grants and Small Wind Construction grants.