Program Guidance for Local Wind Energy Ordinances
Category Regulatory Policy
Implementing sector State
Last Update
State New York
Sectors Residential

Note: The documents described in this summary were designed to provide guidance to local governments that wish to develop their own siting rules for wind turbines. While they were developed under contract with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), a state agency, none of the documents themselves have any legal or regulatory authority.

The New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has created a wind energy toolkit to provide information on various aspects of wind energy development and to help communities that are interested in wind energy development prepare for the issues that they might encounter. This toolkit includes information related to wind energy siting and the different methods that communities may use to integrate provisions for wind development into their existing laws. Separate sections specifically address comprehensive planning for wind, and options for wind energy ordinances.

Comprehensive Planning: Comprehensive plans proactively guide a community's future growth and development, including the development and use of local natural resources such as wind energy. The NYSERDA guidance document identifies four important components of a comprehensive plan: a resource inventory describes the nature and extent of local wind resources; an analysis of competing land uses, needs, and how wind development effects these other priorities; a statement of broad community development goals and specific objectives associated with those goals; and, an action strategy containing specific recommendations.

Permitting: This section describes the variety of review options (e.g., special use, permitted use, accessory use, etc.) that communities may use to evaluate wind projects, zoning considerations for wind, and the different issues that might be addressed as part of a zoning ordinance. 

The program website contains additional information on wind energy siting in New York as well as an extensive compilation of wind energy related information for all types of project stakeholders.

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