Wind Energy Systems

In 2008 Whatcom County adopted an ordinance providing guidelines for installation of Wind Energy Systems (WES).

A building permit is required to construct a WES on private property.

Requirements for installation of a WES are based on the rated output, height, number per parcel, and property zoning. Other requirements include those for setbacks, sound and safety.

To encourage installation of WES’s, a simple approval process was developed for small wind energy systems (SWES).
Windmill in a Field

For a single tower with rated output not exceeding 100 kilowatts and not exceeding 100 feet in height, only a building permit is required.

Additional permit approvals are required for a WES that exceed these limits. For complete requirements, refer to the handout Requirements for Installation of Wind Energy Systems and contact Planning and Development Services by calling 360-778-5900.