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Larry Sherwood

Welcome to the Winter 2012 issue of the Small Wind Newsletter.   


As the new year begins, California has re-opened its small wind incentive program and the Small Wind Certification Council granted its first two certifications. In this issue you will also read learn about two innovative small wind installations and a new siting tool.  Later this spring two industry conferences will give you an opportunity to learn about the current state-of-the-art in small wind turbines and applications.  Enjoy the newsletter.    


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Larry Sherwood
TWN Wind Power - LSIB school
BRITISH COLUMBIA: TWN Wind Power installs turbine at Indian Band school  

The Lower Similkameen Indian Band (LSIB) is celebrating the completion of their wind power project located at the LSIB Elementary School. The recently installed small wind turbine will generate electricity for the school, act as a demonstration and educational tool for students and LSIB community members. "This is the first step down the road to meeting sustainable green power initiatives for LSIB. The students will learn about renewable energy and how we can harness power from natural resources" said Chief Rob Edward of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band. Read on.


SWCC Issues First Two Full Certifications 

The Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC) has issued its first two full certifications and consumer labels to the Bergey Windpower Excel 10 and the Southwest Windpower Skystream 3.7.

The consumer labels show the Rated Annual Energy, the Rated Sound Level and Rated Power. SWCC has also published official certificates and Summary Reports for the Excel 10 and Skystream 3.7. The reports contain each turbine's respective tabulated power curve and acoustic data, tower design requirements, and confirms that each meets all of the AWEA Standard's requirements on durability, mechanical strength, safety and function. Read on. 


FY 2012 Rural Energy for America Program NOFA has been issued

The FY 2012 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Solicitation has been issued.

Application deadlines:

RE/EE Grant Applications and Combination Loan/Grant Applications: March 30, 2012
Guaranteed Loan Only Applications: June 29, 2012

RE Feasibility Study Applications: March 30, 2012

Click here for more information.


Hempstead Turbin
Photo courtesy Kyle Rabin

NEW YORK: New Wind Turbine Powers Hydrogen Car Fuel Station

As the song says, "the answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind." The "question" in the case of Hempstead Town's new 100-kilowatt wind turbine is, "how do you fuel-up pollution-free cars without creating any carbon footprint?" More specifically, Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilwoman Angie Cullin unveiled a state-of-the-art wind turbine that will provide the energy necessary to create hydrogen gas, which is being used to power the town's fuel cell cars. This "closed loop" energy system is completely "green" in producing fuel for vehicles that emit no pollutants. Read on.





ILLINOIS: Wind for Schools to Target Wind Energy Education in Middle/High Schools

A new program designed to incorporate wind energy topics into middle and high school classrooms is slated to begin during the 2012-2013 school year. Illinois Wind for Schools (ILWFS) -- an initiative sponsored through a partnership with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University, the Western Illinois University Department of Engineering Technology, the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University, and the College of Education at Illinois State University -- will offer curriculum development resources, teacher professional development, on-site technical assistance and instructional equipment to middle school and high school teachers across the state.   

Read on.


MINNESOTA: Turbine Bulk Buy Program Aimed at Furthering Small Wind Development

Windustry and the Region Nine Renewable Energy Task Force are managing a Small Wind Bulk Buy Program to help rural enterprises take advantage of the state's wind resources and net-metering laws.

The program is supported by a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant to further wind, and the consequent economic development in the region. It provides Small Wind 101 training sessions, as well as technical and logistical support, including wind resource evaluation, site selection, economic evaluation, turbine selection, and support with permitting. Read on.


ONTARIO: Unlikely Coalition Joins Forces to Recommend Changes to Feed-in Tariff Program

By Paul Gipe

Ontario launched an innovative comprehensive feed-in tariff program in the fall of 2009. The first of its kind in North America, the program set feed-in tariffs as the mechanism for procuring new renewable generation from wind turbines, solar panels, hydro-electric plants, and biogas generators.  

Renewable energy advocates filed a joint submission on December 14, 2011 as part of the province of Ontario's scheduled two-year review of its groundbreaking program. The 100-page report urges the government to stay the course and maintain the integrity of the FIT program while proposing significant changes to details of the program. Read on.  


TEXAS: Small Wind Research Technician Job Opening

The Alternative Energy Institute at West Texas A&M University seeks a Research Technician who will be in charge of daily operations, installations and maintenance at the AEI Regional Wind Test Center. This will involve installing turbines, towers, and data acquisition systems. Read on.



Distributed Wind 2012: A Capitol Hill Event for Small and Community Wind, Washington DC

March 27 - 29, 2012   


Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) will partner with the American Wind Energy Association to host the industry's first Distributed Wind 2012: A Capitol Hill Event for Small and Community Wind.  The first day will focus on lobbying legislators, with a short "Lobby 101" seminar kicking off the program. The second day features panels on the state of the industry, permitting and interconnection issues, technical, and marketing issues of interest to the Small Wind community.    

Founded in 2010, the Distributed Wind Energy Association works to facilitate the installation of wind energy systems at homes, farms, businesses, and public facilities in order to reduce electric bills, help the environment, and strengthen the economy. The prime objective of DWEA is to turn obstacles into opportunities by working with local municipalities, advocates and community members to create a healthy climate for distributed wind. For more information, or to register, click here. 



Eighth Annual Small Wind Installers Conference, Stevens Point, WI

June 12 - 13, 2012 


The SmSmall Wind Conf 2012 all Wind Installers Conference is the premier event for small wind-electric system installers, site assessors, designers, consultants, manufacturers, supply chain vendors, educators and advocates, and for those involved in sales, specification, management, grants and funding, and the permitting of small wind systems. The Conference is organized by the Small Wind Conference Coordinating Committee.

Nearly 300 small wind professionals and industry representatives from across the United States and nine countries attended the 2011 conference. Held just days before the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair in Custer, Wisconsin, the conference is a forum for cutting edge information on new trends in the industry, emerging technologies and testing, issues in zoning and permitting, workforce development and training, site assessment and funding mechanisms. 2011 saw significant developments in opportunities for small wind installers and manufacturers. The Small Wind Installer Conference is also the site of an extensive Exhibitor Hall featuring turbine, tower, wind resource assessment, and wind advocate services and products. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information visit  


Additional Small Wind Events  

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


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Contact Larry Sherwood at [email protected] 


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


WISCONSIN PUC Expands Net Metering for Xcel Customers

On December 22, 2011, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission strengthened the net metering offering of Northern State's Power Company of Wisconsin (operating as Xcel Energy) by increasing its allowable system size limit. Starting in January, the ceiling on qualifying systems increases from 20 kilowatts to 100 kilowatts in size. Read on.


VIRGINIA SCC Approves Controversial Net Metering Standby Fee

Any residential customer of Dominion Virginia Power who owns and operates certain net-metered electric generation systems of 10 kilowatts or larger will pay a monthly standby charge as authorized by state law during the 2011 session of the General Assembly. The State Corporation Commission (SCC) has approved a standby charge methodology that allows the company to recover its transmission and distribution costs since those customers still make use of electric grid. Read on.



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 (small)" from the drop-down menu.

CALIFORNIA: Energy Commission Adopts New Rules for Small Wind Turbine Rebates

On November 2 and November 16, the California Energy Commission adopted revisions to the requirements for participating in the Emerging Renewables Program and receiving incentives to help offset the cost of purchasing and installing eligible small wind generating systems.  The revisions include changes to the incentive amount, implementation of funding limits, changes to the criteria for listing equipment as eligible, and additional criteria for removing equipment from the list of eligible equipment. Read on.


CONNECTICUT: On-site Renewable DG Program

Connecticut's On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation (DG) Program is open to for-profit and non-profit entities, municipalities, school districts, and state and federal government agencies located within the Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) and United Illuminating (UI) utility territories. This program is currently open only for Fuel Cells, Small Wind, Biomass, Landfill Gas, and Hydro (all other Class I renewable energy). Applications are due by March 30, 2012.  The program is now closed to PV projects.  Read on.



Distributed Wind Site Analysis Tool  

The Distributed Wind Site Analysis Tool, developed by the Cadmus Group, Inc., allows users to input location and terrain information about a potential wind system site in the United States and predict the energy output and environmental benefits of that site. The Distributed Wind Site Analysis Tool (DSAT) is a powerful new online tool for making accurate performance predictions for distributed wind energy projects. Combining proven calculation techniques, computer modeling, and real-world performance data, DSAT is an ideal choice for:

  • Landowners and communities considering wind power projects
  • Installers wanting to provide customers with professional and accurate project assessments
  • Clean energy funds wanting to improve the accuracy of production estimates and get a handle on program cost-effectiveness

Visit DSAT to view the tool. The standard version of the tool was developed in partnership with DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Encraft, and is free to site visitors. A version with more advanced features is available for an annual subscription fee.



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


With Long Paybacks, Vertical Turbines Still A Tough Sell

Midwest Energy News, January 6, 2012

Even as they become more common, small-scale wind turbines remain a source of dispute in the renewable energy community. Proponents say small wind turbines are ready to be an indispensable part of any home or small business's energy mix, while critics say they're inherently expensive and inefficient.  Read on.  


Small Wind Ramps Up

Farm Journal, January 7, 2012

Certain things, such as death and taxes, are inevitable. Now you can add another: electricity costs will keep going up. Supply from nuclear and coal-fired power plant expansions are questionable, however, due to environmental issues. Wind power to the rescue? It's likely, especially across America's Northern Plains, where prairie winds blow all year. The U.S. wind energy industry installed more than 10,000 megawatts (MW) of wind power-generating capacity in 2009, enough to generate as much electricity as three large nuclear power plants. Small wind turbines, generating up to 100 kilowatts (kW), are now creating their own surge, says Bill Schwankl of Talk Inc., a Sauk Centre, Minn., wind power firm. "Electricity is a commodity. America has an insatiable energy appetite, so electricity has only a one-way trend and that's up," he says.  Read on.


NORTH CAROLINA: Entrepreneurs' hopes ride on the winds, January 15, 2012

A 22-year-old French entrepreneur and a 53-year-old shade tree mechanic from Whiteville have formed an unlikely alliance in an even unlikelier effort to harness wind energy in North Carolina. GreenSky Wind Systems, their startup, is jumping into the one area of wind energy that has had some success in this state: small wind turbines. It's an increasingly crowded field that already has seen one turbine maker with operations here declare bankruptcy. Read on.  


OHIO: Lake Metroparks Farmpark installs new wind turbine

News-Herald, January 9, 2012

The highest point at Lake Metroparks' Farmpark in Kirtland - and one of the tallest points in Lake County - artificially grew another 114 feet Monday with the installation of a new wind turbine. Installed atop the 1,311-foot knob at the Farmpark was a Bergey Excel 10 turbine that is capable of producing 10 kilowatts of electricity from a wind speed of 27 mph. It will start producing at wind speeds of 5 mph and is designed for winds up to 134 mph. The new turbine replaces a larger turbine that was installed about 10 years ago, but which never lived up to expectations and was dismantled several years ago, said Andy Baker, the Farmpark's administrator.  Read on.


NEW JERSEY: Walmart wind turbines approved

Asbury Park Press, January 6, 2012

Ten wind turbines at the parking lot of a Walmart on Route 9 will be installed in the next several months, according to a decision made by the township's Board of Adjustment on Thursday. The board's approval, which includes 24 conditions on the project, concluded six months of deliberation. The project proposed by OminiWind Energy Systems of Dublin, Pa. calls for the installation of 10 wind turbines, 54 feet in height that will generate electrical power. The turbines will be installed on lamp posts with new fixtures and foundations in the Walmart parking lot at 580 Route 9.  Read on.



The Small Wind Newsletter is published electronically by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.   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 [email protected] .

Disclaimer: The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (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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