Wind Energy Frequently Asked Questions

How much power can a turbine produce?

The biggest wind turbines generate enough electricity to supply about 600 U.S. homes. Wind farms have tens and sometimes hundreds of these turbines lined up together in particularly windy spots, like along a ridge. Smaller turbines erected in a backyard can produce enough electricity for a single home or small business.

How much does it cost to maintain a wind turbine?

Since the wind is free, operational costs are nearly zero once a turbine is erected. Mass production and technology advances are making turbines cheaper, and many governments offer tax incentives to spur wind-energy development.

What does the future of wind industry look like?

The wind energy industry is booming. Globally, generation more than quadrupled between 2000 and 2006. At the end of last year, global capacity was more than 70,000 megawatts. In the energy-hungry United States, a single megawatt is enough electricity to power about 250 homes. Germany has the most installed wind energy capacity, followed by Spain, the United States, India, and Denmark. Development is also fast growing in France and China.Industry experts predict that if this pace of growth continues, by 2050 the answer to one third of the world's electricity needs will be found blowing in the wind.

What kind of incentives are offered with the installation of a small scale wind turbine?

The credit is equal to 30% of expenditures, with no maximum credit for small wind turbines placed in service after December 31, 2008. Eligible small wind property includes wind turbines up to 100 kW in capacity. (In general, the maximum credit is $4,000 for eligible property placed in service after October 3, 2008, and before January 1, 2009. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 removed the $4,000 maximum credit limit for small wind turbines.)

Who will fund the WFS project?

Our Wind for Schools funding structure utilizes the Wind Application Center at ASU in cooperation with our state facilitator, Mountain Valleys RC&D, to research and pursue state-level grants , national education grants, and other funding opportunities. On the local level, the project is often supplemented by contributions from local businesses. The full price of the turbine and installation can be reduced by receiving in-kind donations from local businesses in the form of materials and equipment (ex. Concrete, trenching equipment) and labor (students or volunteers can help pour the foundation or trench). Contact our office regarding the price structure and the options for your school.

What can I do to help?

This project’s success depends largely on the “local champion”, the community contact who perpetuates and guides the process towards installation. If you think your local school would be a good fit for the program, contact a science or technology teacher and provide them with information on the program. If your local school is already being discussed as a Wind for Schools prospect, you can help by working with the local champion to contact local businesses and partners to build a support network for the installation.
 

How will the WFS benefit our students?

The Wind for Schools program aims to engage K-12 students in the concepts and practical application of renewable energy. The installation itself can be an excellent learning opportunity for wind resource assessment, system design, and construction applications. Following the installation, the turbine will report its performance data to an onsite computer at the school, allowing students to monitor wind speed and power generation in real time. An important component of the program is the integration of specialized, classroom-ready curriculum on wind energy developed for all grade levels by renewable energy education advocates KidWind and NEED. Contact our office to learn more about the curriculum opportunities associated with Wind for Schools.
 

What size and model of turbine will be installed?

The turbine of choice for the Wind for Schools program is the Skystream 3.7 from Southwest Wind Power. The turbine features a 12 foot rotor diameter and a rated capacity of 2.4 kW. This turbine may be mounted either a 45 or 60 foot monopole. The system is a particularly strong fit for Wind for Schools because of its ability to communicate wirelessly with school computers for integration of wind data into the curriculum.  

Who will fund the WFS project?

Our Wind for Schools funding structure utilizes the Wind Application Center at ASU in cooperation with our state facilitator, Mountain Valleys RC&D, to research and pursue state-level grants , national education grants, and other funding opportunities. On the local level, the project is often supplemented by contributions from local businesses. The full price of the turbine and installation can be reduced by receiving in-kind donations from local businesses in the form of materials and equipment (ex. Concrete, trenching equipment) and labor (students or volunteers can help pour the foundation or trench). Contact our office regarding the price structure and the options for your school.


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