Community Wind Handbook/Secure Power Purchase Agreements

From Open Energy Information

Community Wind Handbook

Secure Power Purchase Agreements

Total project cost and the strength of the wind resource will dictate the power purchase agreement (PPA) price ($/megawatt-hour) that will be needed to ensure project profitability. PPAs are contracts between energy producers (such as large community wind farms) and buyers (utilities or other large consumers) that specify transaction details, including the amount of electricity to be delivered and the price that will be paid for the energy produced. The term is usually between 15 and 25 years.[1]

Turbines at Swauk Creek Ranch generate community-scale power. Photo from McKinstry, NREL 26781.

There are multiple ways to secure a PPA, including:

  • Bidding into a utility’s competitive request for proposals
  • Executing a bilateral deal with a utility
  • Securing a qualifying PPA contract with a utility at the utility’s avoided cost
  • Selling the output on the open market
  • Securing a contract with a commercial or industrial entity.[2]

Other details that are often included in a PPA are curtailment agreements, transmission specifics, schedule milestones, delay damages, insurance, and environmental attributes or credits.[1]

Windustry’s Community Wind Toolbox includes a chapter dedicated to details that should be considered during the PPA process that can provide further insight into this integral step.


  1.  "OwnEnergy. OwnEnergy. How Is a PPA Secured?"