July 2009 Small Wind Newsletter

Issue No. 38, June 29, 2009

Welcome to the July 2009 issue of the Small Wind Newsletter. See details on subscribing at the end of the newsletter.

Larry Sherwood

Editor

NEWS

AWEA Reports 78% Growth in 2008 for U.S. Small Wind Market

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reports that the U.S. market for small wind turbines — those with capacities of 100 kilowatts (kW) and less — grew 78% in 2008, with a total of 17.3 megawatts (MW) of new installed capacity, offering new evidence that consumer demand for clean energy options is on the rise. Read on.

Grants and Loans available through USDA

The United States Department of Agriculture invited agriculture producers and rural small businesses to submit applications to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. $51.6 million is expected to be available, with up to 1,100 awards anticipated. In addition, the USDA requests proposals for Renewable Energy Feasibility Grants. This program will provide support to farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy systems. Six million dollars is expected to be available, and up to 150 awards are anticipated. Responses are due by the end of July for this proposal, as well. Read on.

2009 Small Wind State Reports

Learn what states around the country are doing with small wind! Download a file with 2009 state reports on small wind programs and activities by clicking here.

Interview with Ron Stimmel

IREC’s Jane Pulaski interviews AWEA Small Wind Advocate Ron Stimmel. Read on.

SOUTH DAKOTA requests Input on Small Wind

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission is requesting input on its Small Renewable Energy Initiative, a five-part approach to encourage common sense development of distributed generation. The initiative includes components related to taxes, pricing for distributed generators, interconnection and siting. The taxing and pricing components involve proposed legislation; the interconnection element reviews new rules; and the siting portion includes a model ordinance developed for local governments. The PUC will collect public comments on each of the components online at www.PUC.SD.gov/smallwind through Aug. 31, 2009.

NORTH CAROLINA: Tyrell and Hyde Counties Adopt Wind Ordinances

Tyrrell County, located in northeastern North Carolina, adopted a wind ordinance in 2009 to regulate the use of wind energy facilities in the unincorporated areas of the county. Hyde County had adopted a similar ordinance late in 2008. The ordinances are substantially similar to the model wind ordinance drafted by the North Carolina Wind Working Group, and establishes parameters for the permitting process, height restrictions, minimum setbacks, noise and shadow flicker, installation and design, and decommissioning of retired systems. Read on.

IREC Small Wind State Stakeholders Meeting

The 2009 IREC Small Wind State Stakeholders Meeting was held May 6, 2009 at the WINDPOWER 2009 Conference in Chicago. To download the Agenda and presentations, click here.

5th Annual Small Wind Conference a Huge Success!

Once again, the Small Wind Conference lived up to its reputation as the premier small wind event in the United States, with over 320 people attending from all across the US, as well as Mexico, Canada, the UK, India, Hungary, Japan, Australia, Spain, and China. Read on.

Public Renewables Partnership holds Webcast on Small Wind and Distributed Generation

A coalition of renewable energy organizations hosted a teleconference May 20, 2009 on small wind projects and distributed generation. This event was part of a series of teleconferences offered through the Public Renewables Partnership. The presentations, as well as an audio recording of the webcast, can be found on the UWIG web site at http://www.uwig.org/PRPwebinars.html.

Boston Museum of Science Test Turbines

Boston’s Museum of Science in partnership with the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust is installing the nation’s first museum-based rooftop Wind Turbine Lab this summer. As the centerpiece of its new “Catching the Wind” exhibit, the museum began installation of nine wind turbines of five different types in April. The turbines will range in size from seven feet tall to 40 feet tall. The museum will investigate their strengths and weaknesses by monitoring local wind conditions and wind power generation data. Read on.

Upcoming Wind Events

For a full listing of upcoming wind energy events, click here.

INTERCONNECTION AND NET METERING

Check the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc.’s Connecting to the Grid web site for the latest interconnection and net metering news.

KANSAS Enacts State-Wide Net Metering Legislation

On May 22, Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson signed HB 2369, establishing a renewable portfolio standard and a state-wide net metering law. With the passage of this bill, residential systems up to 25 kW and non-residential systems up to 200 kW may be eligible for net metering, though systems should be appropriately sized so as not to exceed expected load. Read on.

MAINE Enacts Legislation to Authorize Shared System Net Metering

On April 30th, Governor John Baldacci of Maine signed a significant reform bill (LD 336) on net billing to allow for shared ownership, an increase in eligible system size to 660 kW, and to expand the eligible technology to include micro-CHP with any technology and any fuel. Among other things, the legislation raises the upper size limits for all eligible technologies to 660 kW covering 600 kW wind turbines currently being planned and installed in Maine. The amendment also allows wind turbines and other facilities up to 660 kW to have shared ownership similar to those in Europe. It also allows these to net meter across the interconnecting utility service territory. The approved rules remove the facility vicinity requirement and allow for the net billing of accounts across a utility’s service territory. Read on.

SOUTH DAKOTA PUC Adopts Interconnection Rules for Systems up to 10 MW

The South Dakota PUC issued an order approving their proposed South Dakota Small Generation Interconnection Rules. The rules specify interconnection procedures for systems up to 10 MW, based on the different tiers. Read on.

INCENTIVES

New Incentives reported by the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE), a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and selected federal incentives that promote renewable energy. To access state-by-state incentives and policies that promote wind energy technologies, click here and select “wind (all)” or “wind (residential)” from the drop-down menu.

VERMONT Enacts Feed-In Tariff

In May 2009, Vermont enacted the Vermont Energy Act, which requires all Vermont retail electricity providers to purchase electricity generated by eligible renewable energy facilities through the Sustainably Priced Energy Enterprise Development (SPEED) Program via long-term contracts with fixed standard offer rates. This policy, commonly known as a “feed-in tariff,” is intended to provide a reasonable return on investment to renewable energy facility developers. Read on.

MARYLAND Adds Residential Wind to Sales and Use Tax Exemption

In April 2008, the Maryland enacted legislation exempting geothermal and solar energy equipment from the state sales and use tax. Two pieces of legislation expanding the sales tax exemption were enacted May 2009. H.B. 1171 added residential wind energy equipment as eligible for this incentive. Read on.

RESOURCES

Power from the Wind by Dan Chiras, Mick Sagrillo, and Ian Woofenden, New Society Publishers, 2009

Power From the Wind is an easy-to-understand guide for individuals and businesses interested in installing small wind energy systems and includes information on the following:

* Ways to assess wind resources at your site

* Wind turbines, towers, inverters, and batteries

* Installation, maintenance, and costs

This book is designed to help readers make the smartest, most economical choices. Readers will gain the knowledge they need to make wise decisions during the design, purchase, and installation of small wind energy systems and to communicate effectively with wind system installers.

Dan Chiras, a certified wind site assessor, has installed several residential wind systems, and has published over twenty-four books, including The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy. Mick Sagrillo is the wind technology specialist for Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy. Ian Woofenden is a wind electricity editor, writer, workshop coordinator, instructor, and user in Washington’s San Juan Islands. For more information click here.

New Roots launches financial modeling tool for small wind

New Roots is pleased to announce the recent launch of WindCast, a simple to use financial modeling tool that takes the guess work out of project and site specific financial projections. WindCast was created specifically for the small wind industry to provide industry professionals with professional, accurate, and credible financial evaluations in minutes. WindCast is accessed via a secure web portal and uses simple, site-specific inputs to produce lifetime revenue projections in an easy to read, graphical format.

For more information contact New Roots at http://www.windcast.newrootsenergy.com/.

Wind Energy Basics Revised: A Guide to Home- and Community-scale Wind Energy Systems by Paul Gipe, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2009

Wind Energy Basics debunks what the author calls “the fads, fallacies, and the flim-flam” around “new, never-before seen” wind turbines often featured in the media. “As the world turns increasingly toward renewable energy,” says outspoken author Paul Gipe, “people are looking for wind turbines that work cost-effectively. Unfortunately, hustlers, charlatans, and the simply inept are quick to seize on the public’s fascination with wind energy and sell them wind turbines that perform poorly at high cost.” “Wind energy works and makes environment sense–more so today than ever before — but consumers have to be on their guard. It’s buyer beware, especially with small, household-size wind turbines,” says Gipe. For more information click here.

SMALL WIND IN THE NEWS

These articles from around the U.S. give examples of how small wind is covered today — good or bad.

Wind Turbine installed on ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover

In its network television debut, the Windspire wind turbine was installed at the latest “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” project in Indianapolis, on the show’s season finale 2-hour episode that aired on May 17th on ABC.

MARYLAND: Wind-energy, solar panel ordinance passed

Herald-Mail, June 17, 2009

The Washington County Commissioners voted 4-1 to pass an ordinance that allows small wind-energy systems and solar panels in all county zoning districts with limits on size, placement and other factors. Read on.

CONNECTICUT: Personal Power Arrives in Kent

CountyTimes.com, June 11. 2009

Electrician Mark Lenz became a trailblazer in Connecticut last week when he put up what he believes to be the first residential vertical axis wind turbine in the state on his home on Iron Mountain. Mr. Lenz said the turbine will produce between one kilowatt and 1.6 kilowatts per hour in the winter and will reduce his electricity bill-which averages $250 a month-by about $100 over that same period. He plans to supplement the system with roof-mounted solar panels to generate electricity during the summer months when the wind is quieter. Read on.

MAINE: Kittery to remove wind turbine

seacoastonline.com, June 03, 2009

A wind turbine at the Kittery transfer station will be removed and the town will be reimbursed for its cost, after testing indicated the turbine produced only 15 percent of the electricity expected. After the town has been fully reimbursed, Entegrity Wind Systems will come to Kittery and remove the turbine. “I am very disappointed, but the lessons learned are very valuable,” he said. “We’re not going to proceed to install this sized turbine again without a clear understanding of the wind sustainability and location.” Read on.

MARYLAND: City planners satisfied with 15kW home wind energy limit despite complaint

Cumberland Times-News, June 10, 2009

The Municipal Planning and Zoning Commission of Cumberland voted 4-0 June 4th to forward the proposed regulations on residential wind energy systems to the Mayor and City Council, who are expected to conduct a public hearing on the matter on Aug. 4. David Umling, city planner, said only one person submitted comments of substance on the issue. Towson-based real estate attorney Stuart D. Kaplow, who serves as legal counsel and is a member of the board of directors of the U.S. Green Building Council Maryland Chapter, said limiting residential wind turbines to 15 kilowatts hour (kW) is too restrictive. Read on.

COLORADO: First wind turbine set in Holyoke

The Holyoke Enterprise, June 4, 2009

A recent spike of interest in the concept of wind energy led Roy Pfaltzgraff to become a wind turbine dealer and Paul Mailander to have a turbine installed at his residence near Holyoke, Colorado. Pfaltzgraff began to look into becoming a dealer a few years ago when he was looking to have a turbine installed and found only distant, impersonal service and high prices. Hoping to make wind energy more accessible for those around Haxtun, he became the first dealer in the area. Mailander developed his interest in renewable energy by working on a project that investigated wind energy as possible revenue for the school district. Read on.

ILLINOIS: Ford County expands wind energy option

News-Gazette.com, June 9, 2009

Ford County residents will now have the option of building a personal wind energy system on private property. All property owners who are not under the zoning jurisdictions of the county’s three incorporated towns — Gibson City, Paxton and Piper City — are eligible. Zoning Officer Larry Knilands said that his goal in drafting the county’s zoning amendment for private wind energy was to make it so that everyone in the county at least had the opportunity to consider building a wind system on their property. To that end, a private windmill permit fee will be reduced to $100, rather than $5,000 now collected for each commercial wind turbine. Read on.

MISSOURI: Washington U. Adds Turbines to Historic Building in Renovation Project

Chronicle of Higher Education, June 22, 2009

Washington University in St. Louis is putting seven turbines on top of a renovated building in a historic district and making them an architectural feature by illuminating them at night. The units, which won approval from the St. Louis Preservation Board, will generate “a bit of the building’s electrical power and also provide a distinctive sight.” Read on.

ABOUT THE SMALL WIND ENERGY NEWSLETTER

The Small Wind Newsletter is published electronically by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc.. The Small Wind Web Site contains news, resources, and links.

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If you have comments or news items, please send them to Larry Sherwood at Larry@irecusa.org.

Disclaimer: The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product or process that is referred to or linked to in this newsletter. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply IREC’s endorsement or recommendation.

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