*May 5, 2014 – The USDA announced funding for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP provides grants and loan guarantees to farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses for a wide range of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Energy Division, provides a very useful tool for estimating the average annual wind speed 100 feet (30 meters) up for any location in the state. This interactive tool is ideal for anyone considering a small (home or farm scale) wind system, as the value can be input into our small wind financial calculator to find out whether a wind project will be financially rewarding. They call the tool a "Wind Speed Verification Tool".
The tool is available here.
Harness the Wind! 2013 Small Wind Conference, June 18-19, Stevens Point, WI. www.smallwindconference.com
With support from the Minnesota Office of Energy Security, Windustry partnered with wind installer experts to develop a Small Wind Installer Training Curriculum designed to prepare technical students for engagement in the growing small wind industry. Working with two of the nation's foremost small wind installers and trainers, Windustry created a cutting edge, state-of-the-art curriculum.
The Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) is a collaborative group comprised of manufacturers, distributors, project developers, dealers, installers, and advocates, whose primary mission is to promote and foster all aspects of the American distributed wind energy industry. Distributed wind, commonly referred to as small and community wind, is the use of typically smaller wind turbines at homes, farms, businesses, and public facilities to off-set all or a portion of on-site energy consumption.
Guemes Island, WA - Wind-electric systems often require the most maintenance and have the most problems of any renewable electricity system. This workshop includes a brief review of basic wind-electric system design principles and practice, and then focuses on maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair of these systems. This is an advanced workshop, intended for experienced wind-electric system users, designers, and installers, or for those who have attended SEI's Residential Wind workshop. Classroom sessions will complement extensive hands-on work.
The Bergey Excel-S is a popular small wind turbine.
Home Power magazine publishes an annual Wind Turbine Guide for considering and planning a wind energy electric system for home, farm, or business. The 2011 guide "Is Wind Electricity Right for You?" covers site evaluation, towers, and turbine choices. Wind energy experts Ian Woofenden and Mick Sagrillo review 24 small wind turbines with a detailed table of specifications along with wind installer survey results.
“Wind electricity is an enticing technology, drawing attention to itself with every turn of the blade,” states the Home Power article. “But for the uneducated consumer, wind power can end up being the most disappointing of renewable energy technologies. This is not because it’s a hopeless endeavor to capture the energy in the wind, but because it’s a difficult job. Unfortunately, the technology also seems to attract more backyard ‘inventors’ and hucksters than other renewable technologies.”