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     Quality Data Propels Small Wind Energy into the Future Larry Sherwood


Data plays an increasingly important role in the Small Wind industry. Gathering accurate information and making it accessible to consumers, installers and local governments is vital to the success of distributed wind generation.   Better wind siting tools, reporting of turbines' energy-production results, and certified power curves and acoustic data help people make good choices.


We all know that ill-sited turbines and overly optimistic energy production claims cost the industry credibility, and waste consumers and municipalities money. Increasingly, customers are able to evaluate turbines based on quality data collected through the certification process. Good data, shared openly, is the foundation of our future growth.


In this issue of the Small Wind News, you'll find several examples of improved data collection and reporting. We highlight Lakeshore Technical College's new website, which gives visitors access to current and historical data from their four wind turbines, enabling students to dig through the data to learn the impact of temperature on energy output, among other things. Readers are invited to participate in an effort to crowd-source the rapidly changing information in our field, with the adoption of a wiki model for the Small Wind Consumer's Guide. And you'll read how good data is making the case that Milwaukee's investment in a turbine at their port was a good one, building good will in the process.


If you find this issue has useful information that helps you better understand the changing world of small wind, please forward it to others who might be interested. Details on subscribing can be found at the end of the newsletter.


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Larry Sherwood
WisconsinTurbineWISCONSIN: Milwaukee Happy with New Wind Turbine 

Benefit to Milwaukee taxpayers approaches $15,000 since going online

In just its first nine months of production, Milwaukee's wind turbine, a Northern Power 100, is providing an environmental and economic benefit to Milwaukee. The generation of wind energy at the Port of Milwaukee is paying dividends to city taxpayers as the turbine on the grounds of the port administration building is producing significantly more electricity than the administration building requires. Read on.   


MINNESOTA: TWN Wind Power Completes Wind Projects at White Earth Nation

TWN Wind Power completed two wind projects at White Earth Nation, located in Northwest Minnesota. The two sites, Ojibwa Building Supplies in Waubun and White Earth Community Service Center in Naytahwaush, are now both benefiting from wind energy.

"White Earth Nation is thrilled to have our two new wind turbines fully commissioned and adding to our alternative energy efforts. We, as Native American people, continue to strive to be stewards of the earth and White Earth is proud to have completed this project in partnership with TWN Wind Power, a Tsleil-Waututh Nation company," said Erma J. Vizenor, White Earth Nation Chairwoman. Read on.   

  WIU turbine, vertical

ILLINOIS: Western Illinois University Installs Small Wind Turbine

A small wind turbine was installed in December at Western Illinois University to serve as a curriculum resource, while addressing sustainability goals of the University as part of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs' (IIRA) Illinois Wind for Schools project.

Installation of the 70 foot, 2.4 kW turbine and tower has been completed just west of Western's Harry Mussatto Golf Course. According to Fred Iutzi, IIRA renewable energy program manager, the turbine will serve as an on-site classroom for high school and junior high school students from around the state. Read on


WISCONSIN: Lakeshore Technical College Wind Data Now Online

Wind energy data supports education, interest in wind technology

A new website gives visitors access into the world of wind energy data. The website provides students and industry representatives current and historical data from the four wind turbines at Lakeshore Technical College (LTC) in eastern Wisconsin.

"Students can dig through the data to learn the impact of temperature on output," explained Doug Lindsey, dean of the Energy Education Center at LTC. Scientists and high school science students can also access the information for their research and studies.

Read on.       


DOE Awards Grant to Two Small Wind Companies DOE announced January 23rd that they are investing in two small wind companies, as part of their Small Wind Turbine Competitiveness Improvement Project. This initiative supports manufacturers in their efforts to lower the cost of energy from small turbines by improving their components and upgrading their manufacturing processes. Maine's Pika Energy and Oklahoma's Bergey Windpower Company received the award, which will help the company identify component improvements that will optimize its turbine technology for increased performance and reduced cost. Turbine upgrades over the course of the year will determine what testing must be done to maintain the turbine's certification. Pika Energy plans to use its award to develop an advanced blade manufacturing process designed to reduce the cost of energy for its turbines. Learn more by visiting the Energy Department's distributed wind webpage.
Source: DOE

ILLINOIS: Wind for Schools Accepting Applications

Now in its second year, the Illinois Wind for Schools (ILWFS) program is accepting applications from highly motivated middle school and high school teachers in Illinois public school districts. Three to five middle and/or high schools are selected each academic year as ILWFS partner schools for intensive support through on-site teacher training and classroom resources. Those who are sincerely interested in incorporating wind energy into their curriculum and providing outreach to their community are encouraged to apply by March 1, 2013. Read on.   


DOE Initiates National Collegiate Wind Competition

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to participate in DOE's inaugural National Collegiate Wind Competition.

The National Collegiate Wind Competition is a forum for undergraduate college students to investigate innovative wind energy concepts; gain experience designing, building, and testing a wind turbine to perform according to a customized market data-derived business plan; and increase their knowledge of wind industry barriers. Successful teams will gain and then demonstrate knowledge of technology, finance, accounting, management, and marketing, providing lifelong technical and business skills. Read on

DWEA Lobby Day 2013
DWEA Lobbying and Strategy Event in DC February 12-13th

The Distributed Wind Energy Association will hold their second annual lobbying and strategy event in Washington, DC on February 12-13th. U.S. Senator Jon Tester and U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer have both confirmed their participation. The first day will focus on lobbying, and will begin with a presentation by Congressman Blumenauer, who will be participating for his second year.

During the DWEA's first Lobby Day in 2012, 60 companies from across the country joined together to participate in over 50 meetings on Capitol Hill. Participants met with Congressional leaders and staff to discuss their business' issues, tell their story, and request support for the growth of distributed and community wind. Read on.


Small Wind Conference 2013  

The conference committee is actively seeking presentation proposals for inclusion in a jam-packed agenda engaging installers, manufacturers, dealers, distributors, site assessors, public entities, educators and advocates.  Organizers see this one-of-a-kind event as the tip of the spear for small wind expansion across the planet and will be welcoming manufacturers from Asia, Europe, Canada and the U.S. to the 9th Annual Small Wind Conference. Read on.


Upcoming Small Wind Events  

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


NACo and DWEA Release County Wind Ordinance Best Practices Guide

The National Association of Counties (NACo) and the Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) have released a guide that details best practices to assist counties in developing effective county wind ordinances.

The report, County Strategies for Successfully Managing and Promoting Wind Power, is the result of a NACo and DWEA partnership to assist county leaders and the wind industry in working collaboratively to develop affordable and safe wind energy projects that respect property rights and promote economic growth.

The guide serves as a tool for county elected officials and planners to learn about local wind ordinance development, explore key ordinance criteria, and consider best practices from other counties. Few counties have added allowances for wind systems -even small-scale- to their zoning codes. In some places, unfamiliarity with wind technologies has resulted in complete restriction of wind development to avoid setting a controversial precedent. Read on.



Small Wind Consumer's Guide now featured in Open EI

The U.S. Small Wind Consumer's Guide is now featured in OpenEI, DOE's wiki platform for energy information. In the past, the Small Wind Consumer's Guide, produced by Wind Powering America and NREL, has been extremely popular, with tens of thousands of copies printed and downloaded. However, NREL found that keeping all of the guides current was extremely challenging -- often the state contact information would be outdated shortly after the guides were published. Their solution is to host the guide on OpenEI, which also allows expanded contribution from experts in the field. Ian Baring-Gould, National Technical Director of Wind Powering America, said, "We've done the heavy lift, working with programmers to migrate the original content to this platform and to create the clickable map. Now we're looking forward to the community contributions that have become the hallmark of modern communications." Read on.   


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


IREC Applauds Interconnection Victory for Small Renewable Energy Systems

Proposed modifications announced by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to the agency's Small Generator Interconnection Procedures lay the groundwork for facilitating a more efficient interconnection process for small renewable generators, while maintaining safety and reliability. The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), which has worked to achieve the same result on a state-by-state basis, applauds the proposed federal actions. Read on.


IDAHO:  PUC Establishes New Rules for Renewable Power Projects

Idaho State regulators established the ground rules going forward for renewable power projects that enter into sales agreements with regulated utilities. As part of this ruling, the cap for wind and solar projects seeking the commission's published avoided- cost rates is 100 kW. 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. DSIRE is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.

OREGON:  Small Wind Incentive Program

The Energy Trust of Oregon's Small Wind Incentive program provides resources and cash incentives for customers of Portland General Electric and Pacific Power that are installing turbines up to 50 kilowatts (kW).  Larger systems are allowed to participate, but must contact Energy Trust for approval. Incentive levels are as follows:

  • $5.00 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for systems with estimated annual energy output of 9,500 kWh or less
  • $47,500 (equivalent to $5/kWh for the first 9,500 kWh of estimated annual energy output) plus $1.75/kWh for systems with estimated annual energy output over 9,500 kWh.  Read on.

MASSACHUSETTS:  Wind Incentive Program

Through the Commonwealth Wind Incentive Program - Micro Wind Initiative the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) offers rebates of up to $4/W with a maximum of $130,000 for design and construction of customer-sited small wind public projects and rebates of up to $5.20/W with a maximum of $100,000 for non-public projects. The rebates are available for projects 1 to 99 kilowatts (kW) nameplate capacity. Read on.



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


MINNESOTA: St. Paul company feels big breeze from small wind

Finance & Commerce, January 16, 2013           

American Resource & Energy recently built a 33-foot-long pole that holds an 11-kilowatt wind turbine that produces energy for residents of a remote 133 acre island off the U.S. Virgin Islands. The pole has a tilt-up feature allowing the owner to raise and lower it by using a generator, a crucial advantage in a hurricane-prone region. Read on.


Evance R9000 Small Wind Turbine Receives Full Certification from US Small Wind Certification Council

PRNewswire, January 10, 2013

Evance Wind Turbines, a world leading manufacturer of small wind turbines, is delighted to announce that its 5kW R9000 turbine has achieved full certification from the Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC) - the US independent body that certifies small turbines that meet or exceed its performance and safety requirements. The Evance R9000 successfully passed rigorous safety, function, performance and durability testing, in accordance with the AWEA Standard, to become one of only four turbines to achieve full certification from the SWCC. Read on


Wind Sector VC Funding Down Slightly in 2012 Reports Mercom Capital Group

PRWEB, January 24, 2013  

Mercom Capital Group, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, released its report on funding and mergers and acquisition activity for the wind sector during 2012. ... Ten turbine companies (mostly small wind turbine makers), one monitoring software and one airborne wind company also received funding. 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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