FACTS (or more), QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT WIND TURBINES, WIND POWER, and SOLAR ENERGY
1. Is wind power safe?
Of 90,000 wind turbines in the world, no member of the public has been killed or seriously injured by wind, ever. This compares with thousands of injuries coming from Coal, Gas, Nuclear, and other Electricity production. Wind power is the safest alternative energy on earth.
2. What causes wind to produce electricity?
The turbine, a "fan" spins a generator, thus converting energy in thewind into electricity. Most believe wind is caused by solar impacts on the earth. So wind energy is a dynamic form of solar energy.
3. How much electricity can a turbine produce?
It depends upon the location, size and design of the turbine, and the price of electricity and wind speeds in your location. A small unit for your home can produce 1 kW or about $100 per month in power, if your winds are good and electric rates are high. A larger home unit can produce 5 kW or $300 to $500 per month in electricity. A 20 kW unit can produce from $1,000 to $2,800 per month with good winds and high electric rates. An 80 kW unit can produce $2,500 to $7,000 per month. A 250 kW unit can produce from $11,000 per month to $22,000 per month in good conditions. A 1000 kW(megawatt) can produce up to $100,000 per month.
4. What do turbines cost?
From $5,900 to $3,000,000. See www.wind-inc.us
5. What is a typical rate of return on my investment in a turbine?
We have seen a range of 17% IRR to 27% IRR. This will vary with location, winds, design, cost of electricity and quality.
6. What are the variables of wind production?
- a. Wind Speed
- b. Cost of electricity
- c. Capacity of the turbine
7. Can I predict what my production will be?
Yes, find out the average wind speed for your location, find out the capacity and "rating" of your turbine, and find out the cost of electricity (electric rate). With these three numbers you can give a reasonable estimate of what your production will be. Most turbine distributors can give you this information, such as www.wind-inc.us, for customers when they purchase.
8. Are wind turbines noisy?
Some have "lattice" towers that produce more wind speed noise. Some have poor blade design that cause them to whine. NBC carried a television story about the high noise one one turbine that is made in Arizona, that produces about $60 to $140 per month. We recommend that you consider the source of the turbines. The turbines that www.wind-inc.us distribute make less noise than any turbines. Many people who have them have reported that they are silent, that they have never heard them. Sound tests show our turbines to produce so little noise that the microphone has difficulty picking up a reading. Most of the turbines made in Holland are of good design, are almost silent. The average wind turbine produces less than 1/2 the noise of a typical swimming pool pump motor. Even our 250 kWh units (which can make $12,000 to $20,000+ in electricity per month) are very quiet. We interviewed a school that has 4 turbines, 50 kWh power each, on lattice towers. They said that neighbors had complained of the noise,and we personally went to see this unit. It is a loud unit, this 50 kW unit makes much more noise and is much louder than our 80 kW unit ,sold by www.wind-inc.us.
9. Do wind turbines kill birds?
Remember, hunters kill birds. Cars, trucks and high line wires kill birds. Office buildings kill birds. There are reports that birds fly into light poles, signs, mirrors, windows and high line wires. There are reports that birds fly into turbines, although this is rare. The large turbines are large and moving, and birds see this and tend to fly around or over them. Official studies indicate that a typical large mega-Watt wind turbine will experience 1.5 birds flying into it per year. About half the rate of a typical car. A typical office building kills 20 times this number. A typical truck kills 5 times this number. A typical house cat has been shown to kill 8 birds, 15 mice/rats and 2 squirrels per year.
10. Do wind turbines cause headaches?
The giant turbines create a low frequency pressure wave, that can be felt by some people if they are standing within 20 feet of the turbine, or directly under the turbine. There is no evidence that this is harmful. But, most large turbines are built 1000 feet away from any buildings. Small wind turbines cause no physical problems and often cannot be heard or felt. The turbines of www.wind-inc.ushave no impact on health, except they save you the stress of paying electric bills. You can drop by our offices. We have turbines, within 50 feet of our staff offices. We cannot hear the turbines, nor have we experienced any health problems. Most people who come by enjoy standing under them and watching.
11. How is a turbine rated?
The rated speed indicates how the unit is engineered, so that it will show how much electricity is produced at certain RPMs. For example a "5 KW unit" is engineered to produce 5000 watts of electricity per hour for 24 hours a day, at it's rated wind speed.
12. How deep does a wind turbine have to be "planted"?
This depends upon the location, winds, soils, and size of the unit. For example, a 5 kW unit with a 37 foot pole, should have another 10feet in concrete underground. If it is planted in sand or marshy lands, it will need a deeper hole. If in solid rock, it can have a smaller hole. Most installers will determine this in the installation process. A 10 kWh turbine with a taller pole would require a deeper hole. Some are not put in poles, but are put on roofs or braced on the side of buildings.
13. Should I have a "wind study" or "paid wind consultation"?
You can, if you are not familiar with the winds in your area, but most people can determine what their wind speeds average, with public data or a wind speed gauge. (We at Wind Inc., can sell you a wind speed gauge for $85.) Most turbine distributors can give you this information. A consultant would be required if you are investing a lot of money, but much of the data is publicly available. Some companies make more money on "studies" than in selling the turbines, so be careful. Companies such as www.wind-inc.us will actually go to your location and give you wind speeds as a part of the service when you purchase. This is the rule of thumb. If your investment is less than $100,000 then we don't suggest a paid independent study.
14. Will a wind turbine increase insurance costs to my property?
So far insurance companies report few losses on wind turbines, few or no claims and the insurance industry has only small fees for wind turbines. In one case a turbine actually decreased the insurance cost of the real estate. Just "itemize" it on your policy. It would be similar to a satellite dish, TV or radio tower.
15. Are wind turbines hard to install?
No. Small ones can be installed in 1.5 days. Larger ones often take more time for preparation and will need a crane and crew for installation.
16. Are there any success stories that prove that wind is effective and efficient?
Yes. California produces electricity for 650,000 homes in Los Angeles,with wind farms near Palm Springs. Texas produces electricity for 890,000 homes, primarily in Fort Worth and Dallas, and North Texas. The largest wind farm in the USA is in West Texas. When companies like GE, Siemens, and nations like the Chinese, Germans, French, Spain and Holland invest heavily in wind, your must realized the massive amount of research that has gone into this. Of course, investors like Warren Buffet would not invest in Wind Turbines, if they were not economically feasible. Wind is the fastest growing sector of the economy in the world.
Other smaller success stories for individual use are schools like Shallowater, Texas. The Shallowater ISD has 5 turbines that save the school $148,000 per year. This money is used to hire special reading teachers and buy books for students. Mayor Bloomberg of New York City has urged every building and bridge in NYC to consider wind turbines for additional power. The Logan Airport at Boston has a plan to put in several wind turbines generating power on it's office building at the airport. Cities such as Sweetwater,Texas, or Tucumcari, New Mexico have strongly supported wind. Sidney and Perth Australia, produce all the electricity for their drinking water desalination plants with wind turbines. www.wind-inc.us is selling turbines throughout the USA with great customer response.
A grocery store owner in Canada purchased one, and said that it increased his store volume of sales so much that it paid for the wind turbine in 2 months. In general the public likes wind power, because it is clean, and comes from nature.
17. Are there other applications?
Where can a wind turbine be put? At your home. At a resort house, cabin, or hunting place. Condominiums and apartment buildings. Hospitals, prisons, shopping centers, courthouses, mobile home parks, mini storage buildings, banks, industrial buildings, on bill boards, prisons, hospitals, commercial office buildings. One grocery store in Canada reported that it's retail business increased 22% after installation of a wind turbine, because of "public curiosity and support".
18. Why should I buy a wind turbine?
- Because you believe in it.
- You believe in clean energy.
- You believe in our nation's need for more electricity.
- You want to be more independent of the "grid", in the event it fails
- Because you want to do something for our environment for the sake of your kids and grand kids.
- Because you need the tax advantages.
- Because you don't want to pay an electric bill again.
- Because it is a better investment, more stable, and more reliable than the stock market, and other types of investments.
- Because electric rates continue to rise and because the world may see shortages of power as global population increases (Check the speeches on the Internet by Duke Power and Light or AEP Power's Chairman).
- Because you want to increase the value of your property.
- Because you want to advertise and create good public relations in your community. What could be better than a "moving" sign, on a high pole?
- Because it is good for you, your community, our nation, and our world.
19. Are wind turbines hard to install?
No. Indeed it can be fun, a family or even party like event. Often a crowd gathers to watch and take photos. When it first spins everyone will cheer. Companies such as www.wind-inc.us will refer good installers, or sometimes even attend and help when you "lean it up". Media outlets like to do coverage on wind turbine installations. The smaller turbines can be installed with the help of 2 or 3 people. Larger turbines will require the rental ($225+ per hour, min charge of $2500 per day) of a crane. Also an auger or drilling rig will be required ($500 to $2000). Pre Preparation of the site is necessary, such as having concrete footings a foundation, re-bar, and often an additional support foundation patio, and a trench for your electric line.
Bobcats, fork lifts, will be required to unload your turbine at your location, and these generally run $100 to $200 per day each. We recommend that you use a qualified electrician to hook up components and deal with utility companies.
20. Will a wind turbine increase the value of my property?
Yes. Professional appraisers have confirmed that a wind turbine increases the value of the property to a greater amount than the cost of the turbine. www.wind-inc.us can help you get an experienced and professional appraiser. The appraisal can be used at your bank or with a lender. Consider that any investor will pay more for a building that has no electric bill or a reduced electric bill, and also enjoys tax benefits and incentives. Appraisers also report that a wind turbine will appreciate in value as electric rates increase, because the production and benefit is more.
21. Why don't more people put them in?
They are. It is the fastest growing industry in the world, creating more jobs than any other industry with an annual growth rate of 28% worldwide. The only think holding the industry back at this point is a lack of progressive and informed bankers to lend on them. A man in Dubai said: "If I had 1000 acres and it had a billion dollars of oil under it, you would say 'Why aren't you drilling and exploiting this?'. In the USA you have billions of dollars in wind power, and we say the same. Why aren't you mining this wealth in wind? It would seem that your banking industry is not supporting this economic growth". Indeed the Community Reinvestment Act indicates that banks should do things that help the community. Sooner or later, regulators will realize that wind turbines and solar power are an important part of a communities economic life.
22. Should I do a wind farm?
Wind farms require a year lead time, for studies, engineering and legal issues. Are you near a transmission line? Is there capacity for your new production? The investment is substantial with $1 mill to $3mill per turbine. We suggest that you have a minimum of 10 to 15 turbines and preferably more for a wind farm. If you decide to do a wind farm, we can help you. We can get the turbines and help you with engineers and coordination. But it is big endeavor, requiring a strong investment group, and we will require time to plan, bring in the appropriate specialists and coordinate the project for you.
23. Should I have an individual turbine for my business and my home?
Yes, if you have a good location with appropriate wind speeds. If you fail to utilize renewable energy and current technology, it is a loss for you of earnings, savings, tax advantages, and energy independence. Plus we need clean energy production in the USA.
24. What are appropriate wind speeds?
Most good turbines will spin at 5 to 6 miles per hour. But, we at www.wind-inc.us recommend wind speeds of 12 to 14 miles per hour or higher for electric production. Most of west Texas fulfills this. Dallas averages 7 to 13.9 mph. Arlington 7.5 to14.1 mph. Fort Worth 8 to 14.3 mph. Amarillo, Lubbock and further west and north, the wind speeds increase to averages of 18 to 21mph or even higher. If you put these turbines on a higher pole you will pick up even more wind speed. Most commercial buildings can save 80% of their electric bill by use of wind power. Put in solar water heating, and initiate our 14 point energy audit conservation steps and you have a possibility of becoming a "net zero" property, with no electric bill.
25. What kind of wind turbines are good?
The exotic "egg beaters" and strange designs of 3 to 9 turbines on a tall rod, look interesting, but aren't very efficient. They are hard to assemble, and often create noise and vibration. The barrel designs are low and heavy, and require high wind speeds for good production. But nothing matches the efficiency of a "2 or 3 blade propeller"design, for cost, effective production, and quiet operation. At www.wind-inc.us we believe the technology from Holland is excellent because that nation has been doing windmills and turbines longer than most. We saw a windmill there that was built in 1740, used to pump the ocean water out, so they could convert the ocean floor to farmlands. We think good traditional designs are of the best value for your investment, and of top electric production.
26. Will electric companies pay me for my power?
By law, 46 states in the USA require utilities to pay you for excess production. This is also the rule in Europe .But, if you are in a state like Texas, many find it more profitable to just wire in the turbine "behind the meter" and then you run your meter backward, and operate on a "credit". In this way you save electric bills at retail rates. You need to talk to your political representatives and see that they represent your interests. But in truth, we recommend that you buy the turbine that is appropriate to produce the power you need for your building or facility, and don't worry about selling power back, if you are buying an individual turbine.
If you want to invest $15,000,000 or more, then setting up a wind farm and selling power into the grid can make you good profit. But, an individual user is advised to be just that, an individual user. Let the turbine pay or reduce your electric bill, add solar water heating to further reduce your electric bill. We doubt that you want to go through the paperwork and regulations to sell power back, if you are just buying power for your home or business. Some power companies require that you sign an agreement just to have a wind turbine on your property that is connected to the grid. Be sure and contact them and fill out their form.
27. Can I put one in a city limits?
Yes. They are in cities all over the world, in Europe, Latin America, Canada, and coming in the USA. Most cities like Fort Worth only want the unit to be installed so that it is safe and will not fall on a building. An engineer's letter is required to show that it is safe. We have been told that since there is a Federal Mandate that cities and states encourage renewable energy, towns or cities that openly oppose wind or other renewable energy, may be in risk of losing Federal funds for other needs.
28. Will it increase my insurance?
Depends upon your insurance. Most just add a turbine as "additional equipment" or "fixtures" and it normally doesn't change your insurance rate, because there have been few losses or disasters relating to wind turbines. Never does a wind turbine or wind farm pose the risk of pollution and long term damage, such as the Gulf Oil Spill of 2010.
29. Will a wind turbine pay for itself?
A wind turbine, or solar water heaters, will save enough on electric bills to pay for themselves. In good environments they can pay for themselves in just a few years. With tax incentives and grants, they pay back even sooner.
Yes, usually in 5 to 7 years, depending upon your winds. In some cases if you have a lot of engineering or installation issues, it may require longer to pay back. We ask this question. How long is the "payback" on your current utility bill, if you keep doing what you have been? Forever.
But if you are counting pennies and doing this strictly for financial reasons, then gamble on the stock market, go to Las Vegas or buy a Hummer. You invest in Wind because you want to invest in the future. Future for your kids, your family, the environment. Wind is a solid long term investment. But if you are doing solely for short term financial reasons, then you have missed the point and this is not for you. Do it because it is a good thing to do with positive long term results. Become a part of a solution for our nation. The Chairman of AEP one of our largest power companies said: "We must all realize that in just a few years the USA will not be able to produce enough electricity for our needs. Prices will go up much. We need wind, and all kinds of alternative energy. Every person must find a way to do something."
30. Does wind turbine production qualify me for LEEDS?
Yes, it is a big help with LEEDS scores.
31. Does wind turbine production qualify me for tax advantages?
Yes, several. See question # 60.
32. Does wind turbine production qualify for Carbon Tax Credits?
33. Can I deduct the price of the turbine off of my taxes?
Yes, if you are a taxable business.
34. Over a 20 year period, what is the total economic benefit to me, if I purchase a 5 kW unit and put on my office?
Approximately $225,000.00 (depending upon the winds, and the cost of energy)
35. Over a 20 year period, what is the total economic benefit to me ,if I purchase a 250 kW unit and use in my building?
Approximately $14,000,000.00, not including tax benefits. (depending upon winds and energy costs)
36. Will a wind turbine hurt my vegetation, animals, crops or environment?
No impact on animals, crops, or environment will occur.
37. What happens in 20 years when the turbine needs repair?
In 20 years the unit will be "rebuilt" for a nominal fee, and then itis good for 20 more years at even more efficient cost figures.
38. Can I get a turbine that also has a generator and/or batteries?
Yes, there are turbines that have back up diesel generators in days when the wind goes out, or when the grid goes down. Remote locations can even add a battery system, but in most of the USA simply hooking behind the meter and using the "grid" as the storage center is most efficient.
39. Can a turbine be placed on or aside a building?
Yes, this is done all over the world.
40. How can I become a sales representative to sell wind turbines?
Contact us at:www.wind-inc.us but don't even call unless you are prepared to make a serious investment in time, and money to make it a true success. You will need an office, a marketing plan, and we recommend that you put a wind turbine or solar panels on your location.
41. Can I purchase a wind turbine, install it, and charge a city or school for the power, or lease it to a third party?
42. How long does it take to get a wind turbine purchased, and delivered?
You can purchase immediately at: www.wind-inc.us Delivery depends upon your location and the model of turbine you desire. If the have units in the Fort Worth warehouse, we can deliver immediately. If not, it can take from 4 to 9 weeks to get a 1, 5, 3, 10, or 20 kWh turbine, and 6 to 11 months to get an 80 kWh, 250 kWh, or 900 kWh turbine.
43. Can I combine a wind turbine and solar panels and a solar water heater?
Yes, we at www.wind-inc.us can provide the turbine, panels and solar water heating that will all go back to the grid, lower your utility bills, and all qualify for government 30% rebates and other incentives.
44. Can a turbine make real estate or a building more marketable?
Yes. Developers tell us that problem properties that would not sell, become easier to sell when wind turbines are installed to show that there is additional income and "value added" aspects of the property as a green property are introduced. When wind is not sufficient, solar water heating, and solar PV can be used. Not only cancommercial buildings with wind turbines and solar unitsget a higher price, but they attract affluent, interested investors.
45. Can a wind turbine be removed from a property?
Yes, one can be removed and moved to another location.
46. Is a turbine considered personal property, equipment or real estate?
Different state laws vary. Most states say that equipment and fixtures are considered personalwhen "not attached to the ground". A wind turbine, when "attached to the ground" can be defined as part of the real estate by most laws.
47. Can I finance the purchase of a wind turbine with a small down payment?
Yes. www.wind-inc.us has several banks that would love to lend money to you to purchase a wind turbine purchased from them. But, we find that many bankers simply are not making new loans on anything, and this is a bad hindrance to our economy. We think this will change as the public and the government demand more lending, and that bankers will have to start doing their fiduciary duty, and serve the financial needs of business in the USA.
48. If the bank needs an appraisal or environmental report, where canI get one?
www.wind-inc.us can help you arrange an appraisal and environmenta lreport when you purchase one of their units.
49. If the power goes out, and a electric company worker is working on the line, what keeps my turbine from shocking the worker?
www.wind-inc.us units automatically turn themselves off when there is work being done on power lines, the grid is down, or there is an anomoly in the line, as a safety feature.
50. Can a turbine survive high winds or a hurricane?
Yes, our turbines are rated for 120 to 150 mile per hour winds. But we recommend that hand brakes be used when it is known that extremely high winds are approaching.
51. Can I purchase a wind turbine with my credit card?
A turbine is a substantial investment and credit card companies charge high rates. We recommend that you purchase your turbine with cash,savings, a bank loan, or investment loan. You can also lease the turbines on a 6 year payout.
52. Who buys wind turbines?
Cool people. :) Actually we thought that the market would be dominated by affluent ,highly educated, people making $200,000 or more per year. But to our surprise, our clients have included the rich, affluent, and educated, from the big cities, as well as workers, farmers, ranchers, dairymen, plumbers, electricians and people whohave been thinking about energy savings for years.
We have even had a wife one to surprise her husband with a wind turbine gift for Christmas. Many couples have come in and said: "Wehave been thinking about wind energy for years". We have had hundreds of people worth millions, and it seems like millions of people worth "hundreds" also interested. They all share one thing. They are people who care, who believe and who want to be a part of the solution. They are Democrats and Republicans, rich and poor, city and country. They are liberals, conservatives, red neckss and PhD's. In short, the people who buy turbines, are cool people. Join us. Be cool!:)
53. What are some of the main points of installation, what does it cost?
- Dig a hole (I'd recommend 20 feet deep and 52" in diameter for a 20kW, 15 feet and 48" for a 10 kW, 10 feet, x 36"for a 5 kW). The depth of the hole will depend upon your location and soils. Hard rock obviously needs a smaller hole than sandy or loose soils. Estimated cost range: $500 to $1200
- Place the anchor bolts, rebarand pour concrete $300 to $1000
- Unload the turbine, bolt the pole together, assemble ladder, platform, blades, wiring, tail assembly: $500 to $1900.
- Run the wiring through the center of the pole, dig a trench, put wire in conduit, run to building,: $200 to $800 (including cost of copper wire)
- Rent a crain (usually $225.0 per hour, $900 to $4600) and they will lift the pole up so it can be bolted onto the anchors. Use the crain to lift the turbine up, screw on the blades
- Hook the electric lines to your inverter (grid tie) and attach controller, inverter and dump load to system, turbine and breaker box. ($300 to $4200).
- Some utilities require a contract, the owner will need to fill this out and deal with them, or ask the electrician to do so.
- Turn it on.
54. How does a 3 phase AC turbine work with the inverter?
Yes, we can get a 3 phase, which is great for small industry, or even irrigation wells. But you can also use the 3 Phase for your home o roffice. The wind turbine is 3 Phase AC out. That's why the controller is 3 Phase AC in. The controller is single phase DC out with a max capacity of 20KW generated at hard wind by the wind turbine.This DC out of the controller is connected parallel to the entrances of the 3 pcs 7 KW Windy Boys. 3 Pcs Windy boys of 7 KW makes total 21KW. The Windy boys has a 240 V AC out that must be connected to the grid divided over the 3 Phases of the grid. Your grid is 110V/220V 60Hz. So the voltage over 2 phase is 220V and over one phase with the ground 110V. We use only the 3 Phase grid not the ground. When we use 240V than the current is lower. That produces less heat and the cables may be thinner.
55. How do we sell electricity and is it practical?
If you are strictly selling electricity (not for your own use) you should call the local electric utility and negotiate a rate. If you are using this for power for a building, ranch or other buildings ,then you can go behind the meter and get your "credit" as the meter runs backward. If you are in a city limits you may need a building permit. Most towns are enthused about wind power and easy to deal with. The installation cost will vary with who you hire and how extensive the installation project is.
56. Who does the installation?
Some people do it themselves, some people hire local electricians, some use professional installers. We have seen small (1 Kw to 20 kW)wind turbines installed for "nothing" by owners, for "$800" by basic hourly labor, and for several thousand dollars by larger companies. The choice is up to you. We always recommend that you have a licensed electrician oversee or check your work. Also have adequate insurance in the event of damage or injury. The owner should always call his insurance company and be sure to "schedule" the turbine as additional insured equipment or property. Consider having an "installation" party, you will find that your neighbors will be thrilled and delighted to have a "wind" barbeque with you. Remember, you will have made a tangible and significant contribution to our world's energy needs and to clean energy. It is something to celebrate! But, you need to always add insurance to your policies to cover the turbine and any liability related thereto. Most good companies can add it to policies you already have in place. We recommend this up front, before we will even send installers.
57. What about real estate taxes. If a turbine increases my property value do my taxes go up?
Texas gives a property tax exemption for wind properties.The Texas property tax code allows an exemption of the amount of the appraised property value that arises from the installation or construction of a solar or wind-powered energy device that is primarily for the production and distribution of thermal, mechanical or electrical energy for on-site use, or devices used to store that energy. "Solar" is broadly defined to include a range of biomass technologies. "Solar energy device" means an apparatus designed or adapted to convert the radiant energy from the sun, including energy imparted to plants through photosynthesis employing the bioconversion processes of anaerobic digestion, gasification, pyrolysis, or fermentation, but not including direct combustion, into thermal,mechanical, or electrical energy; to store the converted energy, either in the form to which originally converted or another form; or to distribute radiant solar energy or the energy to which the radiant solar energy is converted. "Wind-powered energy device" means an apparatus designed or adapted to convert the energy available in the wind into thermal, mechanical, or electrical energy; to store th econverted energy, either in the form to which originally converted or another form; or to distribute the converted energy. Use TexasProperty Tax Form 50-123, “Exemption Application for Solar orWind-Powered Energy Devices” to claim this exemption.
58. Can a city use a wind turbine to produce electricity to run city services, such as electricity for water treatment plants, or sewertreatment systems?
59. Is there a way to lease or finance a wind turbine?
Yes, some banks, such as Frost Bank, have a leasing program where one can contract to "lease" a turbine for a period of 5 years and at the end of the lease period the turbine belongs to the client. Other banks will lend on wind turbines for a real estate project, on a 5 yea rballoon loan based upon 15 or 20 year amortization. Since most wind turbines can produce enough electrical savings to pay for themselves,they often will "amortize" or pay off the loan in 5 to 7 years.(Sooner in high wind areas)
60. A few tax credits, grants, and benefits for wind turbine investments.
- There is a 30% investment tax credit for the purchase of a windturbine. the law says you can also select to take this as a cash grant if you wish. This has changed in 2012, and we have been told that this is a tax credit, dollar for dollar credit against yoiur taxes.Check with your CPA.
- The USDA will provide up to a 25% of the purchase price and installation REAP grant for agricultural producers or business in ag communities
- There are 5 federal programs giving tax benefits, aid or grants for wind applications
- There is a 2 cents per kWh produced, tax credit, to the owner of awind turbine annually, credited to taxes, but this applies to only large commercial wind production
- Commercial buyers of wind turbines can depreciate them over a 5 to 7year period and deduct the entire cost of the turbine from taxes
- We always recommend that you check with a competent CPA to see what your tax status is and which deductions and incentives you qualify for. In some cases there are "offsets", so you may not be able to claim both a 30% ITC and 25% Ag deduction at the same time. But if you are using your turbine for business, you will probably qualify for a 5 to 7 yeardepreciation deduction.
Depreciation deduction plus a 30% ITC equals deductions, grants or incentives that will largely help pay for most of your expense over 5 to 7 years. This does not include the energy you actually produce or energy savings which are substantial.
61. How much water does wind power use to produce electricity?
None. Consider this. Nuclear energy uses a huge amount of water. Gas wells use millions of gallons of water to "frac" the wells. Oil wells use large amounts of water. Coal mining uses much water.
If we considerthat water is a diminishing resource, then we must appreciate the fact that wind turbines use no water to produce electricity. Water and energy are 2 of the world's most pressing and most critical issues.
62. What are public relations aspects of using wind?
Wonderful. National polls suggest that people like wind turbines. People are fascinated by them. Consider if a retail store such as WalMart puts a wind turbine up, like they have north of Dallas. They have hundreds of people who drive by in their cars "just to see the turbine". Or consider the message that a wind turbine at a hospital conveys to the public. "We are progressive. We believe in clean energy that does not cause health harmful pollution. We are serious about the environment and about your health". The city, town, university, or business that puts up a wind turbine, puts up a sign that sends apositive message to the community around it.
63. What about solar water heating?
Solar water heating is 6.5 times more efficient than solar PV panels. It heats water on the roof and with www.wind-inc.us systems can heat the water from 130 degrees on a cloudy day to 600 degrees on a full sun day. This preheats the cold water that goes into the water tank, and is constantly circulated. It is said that 17% to 30% of a commercial building power needs are for heating water, the higher range for hotels, food preparation, condos, apartments, prisons, universities, any place where showers, food, laundry are used. If an average prison, has 20% of it's utility bill for making hot water, and our solar water heating system is installed, then we add a wind turbine to produce, say 70% of the balance of electrical needs, it is possible that 90% of a building's utility bill will be covered. With our internal 14 point energy conservation step audit, it is possible to get some buildings to a net "0" utility bill. We think more and more buildings will achieve this in the next few years. We are encouraging it. Not with just one answer such as wind, but with wind, solar water heating, solar PV panels and internal conservation methods.
64. If I am in a marginal area for wind, but we do have sunshine would you go with wind or solar?
The answer is, use a smaller wind turbine, and a solar water heating system, along with solar PV panels. The use of all three will work even in "marginal" wind areas. Remember you will get 30% of your investment back, and there is a "rule of 7's" in wind production. You may have only one day in a week of trully good winds. But every time your wind speed doubles, your electric production goes up 7 times. So 6 days in a week of 10 mile per hour gentle breeze will produce some electricity, but on the 7th day, a 20 mph wind will produce 7 times the power and make up for those slow days. This coupled with solar water heating which is 6.5 times more efficient than Solar P V panels, and a solar array of P V, will give you a good diversified energy system. Also, when the wind does not blow, the sun will shine most days. Solar water heating, PV, and Wind all work, even when there is below freezing weather, and snow on the ground. Also, in your building, use metal reflective roofing, blow on foam coating in the attic areas and recover your ducting, put in energy Star appliances, use efficient light bulbs, put trees and awnings near big window areas, consider using the extra heat from the wind turbine dump load and the solar water heating to heat the building "free", and you can even use excess heat in a "heat exhanger" system to AC the building. Your commercial building can be a point of inspiration and interest for the community. For more facts on solar, see the specific articles in the www.wind-inc.us site on wind, solar water, and pv panels.
65. Are wind patterns changing?
Wind patterns constantly show seasonal changes, but the overall pattern of wind over the past 100 years has shown little change. In general research has identified Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Montana, Parts of New Mexico, Wyoming, Nebraska, and large parts of Illinois, Minnesota,essentially all of the Great Plains, as well as Coastal Areas, and areas that are near lakes and without obstructions as some of the best winds in the world.
66. SOLAR PV PANELS, QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
Solar PV produces electricity by allowing electricity to charge electrons, and then completes the circuit whereby the charged electrons go through a wire, that is then connected to your energy user, where the electrons are "discharged" as electricity into your building. The panels are still costly, but as technology and new methods such as "thin film" are being distributed, costs are going down.
Yet, at the present time, a typical solar panel still has a "pay back" efficiency rate of 22 years, vs 6 to 12 years for wind turbines.
67. WHAT ABOUT SOLAR WATER HEATING SYSTEMS?
Solar water heating is the most efficient form of solar energy production. It is 6.7 times more efficient than PV panels. The water is heated from the sun, and cold water is preheated to temperatures and fed into the water tank. So instead of water going in at 65 degrees, it goes into the hot water tank at 130 to 600 degrees, therefore the thermostadt rarely activates, saving you money. Typically 17% to 27% of a typical building's energy bill, is for heating water. Buildings that have showers, baths, food preparation, and industrial needs for hot water will see a higher percentage of their total energy costs related to heating hot water. Ideal applications are for homes, resturants, hotels, prisons, universities, and industrial food processors, dairy operations, any building that uses hot water. With the modern systems that www.wind-inc.us offers, the hot water can be recirculated, and used for space heating in a building as well. Also heat exchangers can be incorporated, providing a new inexpensive form of energy for air conditioning systems.
68. Is it necessary to pay sales tax for wind turbines, or solar panels?
Yes, most states require that sales tax be paid. If you are agricultural or farm related, some states such as Texas, allow a sales tax exemption. Also, non profits are sometimes allowed a sales tax exemption. If your are buying a product for "resale" you can avoid paying state sales tax. You can get online from the State, a sales tax exemption form, that verifies that you are "exempt" and you will need to give this to wind-inc.com to keep in file, if you wish to avoid paying sales tax. In some cases, if items are purchased out of state by internet, sales tax may be waived, but check with your local law on this. To be sure, always check with the State where you are in, and see if you are exempt. But for most consumers and businesses, sales tax is required to be paid, at the time of sale/purchase.
69. Which is best "on grid" or "off grid"?
Many people live or have facilities in remote places, where it would be expensive to get power to the property. Offshore drilling sites, mountains, resorts, might apply. But, while being completely independent is a positive and has emotional appeal, here are the negatives:
a. you have to purchase batteries, and these will begin to require maintanance in 4 to 6 years.
b. if you do not have wind for a long period of time, you will need to also have a back up generator.
a. you are free of the addiction of being on the electric grid
b. you have no electric bill
Now the advantages of an "on grid" system are:
a. you still get the advantage of the electricity because it goes from your turbine to the inverter to the breaker box.
b. ethical utilities will pay you the "retail" price for energy that you produce, if you make more electricity than yoiu use. (Unfortunately, in some areas of the USA, the utilites are not paying the retail rate, but a wholesale rate).
c. you have to continue to deal with the utilities, but, if wind stops for an extended time, you always have the grid as a back up.
HYBRID SYSTEM: Some are putting in an "off grid system" but also installing an extra breaker, so that they can be completely "off grid" by throwing a switch, and if the wind dies, they throw the switch and are back on the grid. The utility companies in some areas have been agreeable to this, others don't like it. But, it is logical and ethical utility companies should go along with this.
70. How Efficient is Wind vs Coal?
Coal fired power plans lose about 2/3 of the energy that is burned, the losses mean that only 33% of the energy in the coal becomes electricity. The electricity leaves the power plant and depending on the efficiency of the energy "lines" and the distance, we see transmission losses from 11% to 15%. So, let's assume a transmission loss of 13%,(making transmission efficiency 87 percent. So the end to end efficiency of coal fired power is probably .33 x . 87 = 28.71 %.(71.29% of the energy never makes it to the consumer). Of course in the process coal leaves coal sludge, dirty air, and a huge health problem for millions of people. Coal also uses millions of gallons of water and leaves that water residue toxic.
An average wind turbine converts about 30% of the energy in the wind into electricity. Line losses for locally used industrial or commercial turbiines are 1 to 2% (vs 12% line loss for the central grid system. So .30 x .98 =29.4 So wind is more efficient, and also uses no water, creates no pollution, and is much cheaper to build and install, with no negative impacts upon the land, water or air.