Community Wind Handbook/Engage with the Community

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Community Wind Handbook

Engage with the Community

To decrease early-stage development risk and avoid significant investment in a project that may not be developed due to local concerns, the community should be engaged during the earliest development stages. This activity will allow you to:

  • Qualify the local interest and potential opposition pertaining to your large community wind project
  • Provide the framework for engagement efforts during the lifetime of the project
  • Explain the development in your terms instead of allowing outside communications to introduce your large community wind project
  • Develop a list of contacts and identify potential project supporters who can attend public hearings associated with the permitting process.[1]
Tours of existing facilities can benefit community engagement. Photo from Skip Babineau, NREL 15334.

Successful community engagement efforts can include consultation activities (public meetings and workshops), pre- and post-development surveys, press releases, media communications, website updates, and a variety of other activities.[2]

Ensure that project- and technology-related information is fact based and robust to provide local officials and the community an accurate portrayal of your large community wind project and its potential impacts.[3]

Remember that community engagement involves listening and responding to those who may have questions or concerns regarding the project. Replying to these inquiries in a timely, respectful, and accurate fashion is vital to building trust within the community.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Canadian Wind Energy Association. Best Practices for Community Engagement and Public Consultation"
  2.  "Superior Watershed Partnership. Community Wind Power: A Guide for Upper Peninsula Communities"
  3.  "U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change. Community Engagement for Onshore Wind Developments: Best Practice Guidance for England"