Facing growing concerns over energy independence, climate change, and local economic develop­ment, state governments have mandated wind energy development by utility companies. As a result, wind farms and wind farm proposals now dot the nation­al landscape, bringing with them a host of benefits, challenges, and concerns for local communities and policy makers.

Wind development has become a particularly contentious issue in many communities as they weigh the pros and cons of wind energy for their area. In some places, this leads to the formation of vocal, yet highly polarized opposition and support groups, which tend to exclude neutral, undecided, or cautiously opinionated individuals. There is often little exchange of ideas that could help communities develop consensus around their feelings toward wind energy development as a whole.

For the last seven years, the Windvisual Project has responded to the need for greater community deliberation about wind energy planning. Our main objective has been to engage community organizations, local political bodies and wind energy professionals in creating wind energy policy and projects that are reflective of local values.

This research has been funded through two National Science Foundation grants (#SES 0724672 and #SES 1027294) to Roopali Phadke at Macalester College.

The website's resources include:

For questions, please contact the project investigator, Roopali Phadke:  phadke@macalester.edu.