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Small Wind 101: An Overview of Small-Scale Wind Electric Systems Affordable, Clean Energy for Homes, Farms and Businesses (

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Presentation on theme: "Small Wind 101: An Overview of Small-Scale Wind Electric Systems Affordable, Clean Energy for Homes, Farms and Businesses ("— Presentation transcript:

1 Small Wind 101: An Overview of Small-Scale Wind Electric Systems Affordable, Clean Energy for Homes, Farms and Businesses (

2 WHAT ARE SMALL WIND TURBINES Small Wind Turbines are less than 100kw. Our 3000 watt Whisper was installed in 1997 and is producing enough power for a small home (300 KWH/Month)

3 Some Brands of Wind Turbines SMALL: Under 100kw Skystraeam Whisper Air-X Ventera Bergey Jacobs Nex-Gen

4 Why Wind? Energy independence Save and Make Money Reduce vulnerability to volatile utility prices Reduce air pollution from fossil electricity sources

5 How Small Direct Drive Wind Turbines Work Safety Switch Power Processing Unit (Inverter) Cumulative Production Meter AC Load Center Pictured above is a Skystream 3.7 direct drive wind turbine


7 WHY JACOBS? Proven over 75 years: Oldest Name in USA Low Cost ($4 / watt) – High Value USDA comfortable with Jacobs (9007 grant) Equipment holds value well (50 year life) Ease of operation and interconnection Low maintenance - $500 per year average UL Approved, Documented by Engineers Power Company acceptance Locally made in Minnesota Proven excellent design and components

8 Here are the steps for you to get a Wind Turbine STEP 1. Site Plan a) Hire an expert to visit your site, provide written estimates of resources, itemize costs, options, income and benefits (planning costs $350 -$750). b) Site plan drawn up, showing set-backs, buildings, well, septic, directions, mock photos of turbine installed. Look into permit requirements, interconnection and inspections. c) Make a decision about which tower height, monitoring options, work with educational groups, sponsors, USDA grant, etc.

9 Mock-Up Photo for Permits Photo before editing

10 After Editing

11 Here are the steps for you to get a Wind Turbine STEP 2. Permit a)Contact your local power company about entering a co-generation agreement. They will send you the forms. b)Hire a consultant to help you complete all permits and save you time with paperwork. c)You may be eligible for some grant money or low interest loans. Your consultant can help you with this, too.

12 Here are the steps for you to get a Wind Turbine STEP 3. Construction a)The foundation is critical, so hire an experienced contractor. b)Follow manufacturers specifications and process for tower and turbine installation. c)Hire a licensed electrician to connect your turbine to your local power company.

13 STEP 4. Operations & Maintenance ANNUAL WERC-WIND SERVICE: $500 (plus mileage) a. Checking/securing all electrical connections. b. Checking/securing all key bolts, nuts, straps and mechanical connections. c. Checking all components for signs of damage (abuse, water, oxidation, galvanic action, etc). d. Climbing towers and inspecting components of tower. e. Changing the synthetic gear lube in gear box. f. Grease the thirteen grease fittings with correct lubricant. g. Test disc brake system. h. Conduct standard diagnostic tests on inverter. i. Cleaning the leading edge of the blades.

14 INCOME - BENEFITS *Federal Investment Tax Credit = 30% of investment **MACRS Depreciation = Deduct total cost of turbine system in 5 years. USDA 9006 Grant = 25% of investment Net Metering = What your power Company pays you for your excess power you generate. Antenna Lease = Possible $1200 / month Education Sponsors, 5 yrs = $5,000 ? Production Tax Credit = $0.015 Green Credits = (Future) * Federal ITC tax credit passed 2009 - can be taken as a credit or receive cash grant from IRS. ** Depreciation can be taken in several ways, see your tax advisor. Or spread out over a longer period of time, if desired.

15 Income Streams, Tax Benefits and other Funding Possible for a Small Wind Turbine for Farm or Small Business Use: 1. Net Metering: Your Power Company must pay you the average retail rate (ARR) for electricity that you sell back to them. In an average wind speed of 13 mph (Class 3 wind), the Jacobs 31-20 will produce about 30,000 kWh per year. With a 10-cent ARR per kWh, you would receive $3000 per year income. 2. Income Tax Deduction: Called MACRS Depreciation (Maximum Accelerated Cost Reduction Schedule): A Wind Turbine installation can be rapidly depreciated (deducted from income taxes) within the first 5 years under the Federal MACRS program. The depreciation can also be spread out over a longer period of time if desired (details see tax advisor). 3. Tower Antenna Leasing: With the growth of wireless phones, Internet and GPS based technologies, antenna are needed for local customer feeds in certain areas. Once you own a 120 tower, you can negotiate an arrangement with several suppliers.

16 Income Streams, Tax Benefits and other Funding Possible for a Small Wind Turbine for Farm or Small Business Use: 4. Tax Exemptions: Small Wind Turbines (and Solar) are exempt from MN Sales Tax. They are also exempt from Property Taxes (a $60,000 system increases the value of your property but will cause no tax increase). See 5. Education, Training, Sponsors: With the current strong interest in Wind Power, more people want to learn about opportunities. Vo-Tech Schools, Colleges, High Schools and other Learning Centers may wish to adopt your turbine (class field trips, conduct training programs, conduct research (monitor hook up your turbine to wind and weather sensors then to their school website). This creates opportunities for businesses to sponsor your project. 6. Grants are available from a few sources including your local power company, state or regional foundations, state government or Federal government. A popular grant for a rural small business is the USDA (9007 Renewable Energy Assistance Program), contact us for more information. (


18 Connecting to the Grid PURPA requires utilities to connect with and purchase power from small wind systems Reduce consumption of utility-supplied electricity Utility acts as a big battery bank Contact individual utility before connecting to its lines

19 Power Quality Issues Must synchronize with grid Must match utility powers voltage, frequency and quality Interconnection Requirements Safety Issues Must meet electrical codes Must stop supplying power to grid during power outages


21 Tower Height Matters Wind speed increases with height Small increases in wind speed result in large increases in power Tall towers often needed for clearance above obstacles (turbulence) May require a variance or a special use permit

22 Height or Distance Needed

23 Potential Obstacles Legal issues City, town, or county ordinances restricting height or requiring minimum setbacks Building codes and covenants Environmental Issues Neighbors concerns (visual impact, noise) Potential physical obstacles (growing trees, planned construction)

24 Objections are less likely in a rural setting Spinning blades perceived as useful Talk to neighbors before seeking permit Noise & Visual Impact Improved designs have made machines much quieter Comparable to central AC unit Noise levels fall sharply with distance 1 acre is a good rule-of-thumb minimum property size for a small wind installation capable of powering the whole house

25 HELP IS NEEDED FOR SMALL WIND TURBINE BUSINESS Future Incentive: Federal Production Tax Credit of 1.9 cents per kwh. This is another tax deduction to learn about (currently available only for big wind projects, not yet for small wind), based on your meter reading each year. If you produce 30,000 kWhs, you would receive $570.00 per year credit on your income tax return. See Please help get this tax credit or some other tax credit for small wind. Future Incentive: Green Credits: Carbon Tax is required to be paid by big businesses for air pollution they create. Your wind turbine produces power without pollution, so big businesses can eventually purchase your carbon reduction credits to help mitigate their pollution. Current pricing is from 2 to 3 cents per kWh, but no firm markets or laws yet govern this incentive.

26 For More Information on Zoning Issues... Legal and Safety Issues – U.S. DOE Small Wind System Installation Reference Brief AWEA Advice from an Expert - Trials and Tribulations - Keeping Hearings Under Control - Zoning Obstacles - Perceptions/Local Concerns

27 Insurance Requirements In >20 years, there has never been a small wind system related liability claim Add to Homeowners or Business Policy: Policy Responses Eight states prohibit utilities from imposing insurance requirements for qualified systems. Five other states limit required coverage amounts to levels consistent with commercial and residential insurance policies. Minnesota limit is $300,000

28 POWER PRODUCTION Net Metering: Local Power Utilities are required to pay small generators (>40kw) for their excess electricity based on the power companies average retail cooperative energy rates (ARCER). Green Tags or renewable energy meter credits can be sold to brokers who are buying Carbon Tax exemptions from large corporations. Federal Production Credit: A tax credit of 2 cents/kwh is based upon meter readings from wind turbine systems (Cannot be taken with ITC Tax Credit).

29 For More Information on Interconnection... US Department of Energy / Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Learn about how wind energy works, what to consider if you want to use wind power at home, and the latest in research and development. wind_technologies.html Connecting to the Grid Interstate Renewable Energy Council

30 For More Information on Small Wind Economics... Minnesota Commerce Department: Mike Taylor 651 296 6830 Wind Resource Atlas of the United States Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy

31 OUR CUSTOMERS Larry/Carol Glassman Morrison County Fair Bob Meyerson John Persell Hunt Utilities Group Melody Lane Farm Boys & Berries Farm Prairie Woods ELC Brew Farms Marshik Dairy Harmon Wilts – HG Farm John Claussen Farm Tom Clemen Farm Eco-Domes, LLC Kennedy Elementary School White Bear Racquet and Swim Club Rollie Jacobsen Neaton Farms Boys N Berries Apple Valley School of Environmental Studies Glen Jacobsen Johnson Excavating Kenco Farms Inc.

32 Morrison County Fair Jacobs Turbine near Little Falls, MN

33 Atwater, MN Jacobs Wind Turbine Completed on 1-11-06

34 Visit the Eco-Domes near Brainerd, MN WERC is a division of the Eco-Domes, LLC © 2005 Our motto is Conservation Pays! We believe that by designing and building long-lasting, efficient buildings that generate their own energy, conserve natural resources and reduce pollution that we are creating a good return on investment that is building a new, more sustainable economy MISSION

35 Our WERC includes: Designing environmentally responsible buildings Consulting/training on energy/water/building technologies Wind Turbine sales, construction, management, service Energy Audits, Energy Load Calculations, Building HVAC Requirements (Energy 10, RET Screen, Energy +) Storm Water Landscaping, Septic Systems, Water Audits, Water Technology Sales Construction of Environmentally Responsible Buildings, Solar Electric, Solar Heating, Geothermal, Bio-Fuels, Grey Water Systems, Composting Toilets, Pond Gardening and Native – Permaculture landscaping

36 HERES HOW WE WERC ON SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND PROJECTS Environmental Consulting on overall property development Analyze/plan property for geothermal, wind or solar potentials Design buildings for maximum efficiency and natural beauty Install sustainable technologies with trained, certified installers Marketing and sales of environmentally responsible properties Train and Certify Installers on several technologies Help create new jobs and provide significant economic benefits for the communities and participating stakeholders Help find and solicit innovative grant funding from state and federal government agencies, foundations and stakeholder organizations

37 UFO – Fueled Company Vehicles We practice what we preach in our own operations. Most of our vehicles, equipment and machines run on diesel fuels, which are less polluting than gasoline. In addition, we have added technologies to allow our vehicles to run on bio-fuels such as used fryer oil (UFO Fuel) from restaurants.

38 The Eco-Dome Conservation Campus is located near South Long Lake, SE of Brainerd, MN (5 miles East on Hwy 18 then 5 miles South on CR 23). Open for Tours M – F, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance Minnesota Governors Green Building Award Minnesota Waste Wise Awards


40 WERC is a Division of The Eco-Domes, LLC. Visit our facilities at 9121 CR 23, Brainerd, MN. 218-764-2321

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