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Small Wind in the News
About the Small Wind Newsletter

Wind sculpture, Boulder, Colorado
Photo by Janet Meyer





Welcome to the Fall 2013 issue of IREC's   
Small Wind Newsletter! 


Larry Sherwood

IREC has published the Small Wind News for 10 years now. During that time, we've covered the many participants in the industry -- manufacturers, teachers, installers, scientists, policy makers, politicians and citizens. The small wind industry is, indeed, all of these entities working together to create a renewable future that includes distributed wind generation. In this issue, you will see many of these players represented.


We start off with a case study presented by Energy Trust of Oregon. It showcases the team [non-profit, utility, government, manufacturer, installer and property owner] that came together to make an interesting wind project happen.


Non-profits have a vital role to play in the development of small wind. KidWind is working to build excitement and knowledge about wind energy through the Kid Wind Challenge, described below. Today's children will be our future renewable energy leaders and decision-makers.


Businesses are the backbone of the small wind industry. In this issue, you will read how Bergey Windpower has survived through decades of ups and downs in the small wind business.   Mike Bergey shares some of his hard-won insight and perspective as a turbine manufacturer in the interview below.


On the policy front, we learn how the Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) is working with stakeholders at the state and federal level to create a regulatory environment that supports a renewable future.  


As always, 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


 Sherwood Signature
Larry Sherwood

OREGON: Small wind turbine brings big savings to Salem-area ranch  

Cascade Buffalo Ranch generates renewable power for its sustainable operations

Eldon and Alice Metz of Cascade Buffalo Ranch
Photo Courtesy of Energy Trust of Oregon

Ten years ago Eldon and Alice Metz opted to forgo long commutes by finding an unconventional commodity they could produce on their Marion County farmland. Buffalo got the nod. "Bison meat is very, very healthy," explained Eldon Metz. "Buffalo have a fascinating back story."

These days visitors who seek out Cascade Buffalo Ranch, located near Silverton and the Oregon Garden, find more than bison. Towering 140 feet over farm buildings and fields is a 10-kilowatt XZERES 442SR wind turbine. "People are curious about the wind system," Eldon said. "A neighbor I'd never met came by and told me he's always wanted one. Someone from Ohio stopped by last week to check it out."  Read on


Interview: Mike Bergey of Bergey Windpower

A co-founder of Bergey Windpower and president since 1987, Mike Bergey is a mechanical engineer and an internationally recognized expert in the field of small wind turbines, distributed generation, and rural electrification. He recently spoke with Small Wind News about his journey with Small Wind and his thoughts on the current state of the industry.  Read on.  


KidWind Announces National Challenge

Student teams compete for the national title with their handcrafted wind turbines at the USA Science & Engineering Festival

Building on the success of local and regional KidWind Challenge events, KidWind, the international leader of clean energy education, is launching the inaugural National KidWind Challenge. Its intent is to spark the competitive spirit of students while helping them study and build environmentally friendly energy options. Read on.  

DWEA Deems First State Policy Summit a Success

The Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) held its first annual State Policy Summit in Chicago on October 21st. State policy expert Rusty Haynes of Keyes, Fox & Wiedman opened the meeting with an overview of current distributed wind and solar policy trends in the states. Over 50 distributed and community wind professionals and regional advocates then heard from the solar industry's lead state policy strategist, Carrie Hitt. Read on


Upcoming Small Wind Events  

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

National Wind Technology Center at Sunset       Photo Courtesy of John DeBord Photography (click to link)

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


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: DC Enacts Virtual Net Metering

The Washington D.C. council voted unanimously on October 1 to bring virtual net-metering to the city. Traditional net-metering allows anyone who has solar arrays on their home, for example, to sell or credit that electricity back to the grid. That offsets what they pay for the rest of their electricity, and reduces their monthly utility bill. Virtual net-metering expands that concept by allowing individuals to buy a portion of a larger solar or wind project, and then have that portion of the electricity the project produces sold or credited back to the grid on their behalf, again reducing the bill. Read on.


CALIFORNIA: Shared Renewable Self Generation Program

In late September, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the S.B. 43 bill into law, establishing the Shared Renewable Self Generation Program, which allows customers of California's three largest investor-owned utilities to buy up to 100 percent clean energy for homes and businesses. The new law will now allow people to buy power from small to medium- sized solar and other renewable energy plants and to receive a credit on their utility bill for the clean energy produced. 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.


NEW YORK: NYSERDA Revised Incentive Program

The New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has revised its on-site wind turbine incentive program. The incentive structure is revised for turbines with an annual production over 1,000,000 kWh and the maximum incentive award was increased. The program now uses the Interstate Turbine Advisory Council's Unified List of Turbines to determine which turbines are eligible for the program.

 Read on.



Small Wind: Planning and Building Successful Installations
by R. Nolan Clark

This new book provides a cohesive guide to achieving successful small wind installations from an informed expert. It is a comprehensive information resource from an experienced small wind professional, covering all the key issues for small wind system development, from site and machine selection to international standards compliance. Available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
ISBN-13: 978-0123859990
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Academic Press; (October 8, 2013)

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


MINNESOTA: Wind energy firm looks for a lift

Finance & Commerce, October 16, 2013

Selling and installing 10-kilowatt wind systems hasn't been a path to instant wealth for entrepreneur Charles Grell, owner of Cold Spring, Minn.-based Gone 2 Green Wind Energy Inc. Read on.


MASSACHUSETTS: Distributed Wind' Energy Projects Take Off In Mass.

WBJournal, October 14, 2013

No wind turbine goes up in Massachusetts without a fight. That's a key reason the Bay State ranks just 35th in wind power capacity, several industry experts argued. Read on.


RHODE ISLAND: Newport Resident Gets His Wind Energy

ecoRI News, October 6, 2013

John McNulty wasn't about to give up on a wind turbine. The 72-year-old, lifelong city resident and retired builder with a tireless mechanical mind seems to have won his fight with City Hall, as a new 39-foot-high wind turbine is on its way. Read on.


WISCONSIN: Residential solar, wind energy incentives remain on hold until 2014

Wisconsin State Journal, October 04, 2013

Wisconsin homeowners who want to install solar panels for electricity or hot water will have to wait until 2014 to apply for state rebates. The state Public Service Commission has voted to keep the Focus on Energy incentive program for residential solar and small wind power projects off-limits through December. Read on.


ILLINOIS: Elmwood students get firsthand education on wind energy from 100-foot turbine

Journal Star, October 13, 2013

Elmwood High School students returned to school this fall to discover a new feature on the grounds overlooking the football field - a slender 100-foot wind turbine. Read on. 


NEBRASKA: Wind turbines generate energy for EZ Go Stores

Journal Star, October 17, 2013

They look more like futuristic weather vanes than wind turbines, but they do generate electricity for the EZ Go Store at 25th and O streets. Oklahoma-based EZ Go Store installed a pair of Energy Ball V-200 wind turbines at the store this summer and plans to install another pair at its second Lincoln location, opening around Nov. 1 at 84th Street and Windmill Drive. Read on.


The Small Wind Newsletter is published electronically by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.

Click here to subscribe.  There is no fee for subscriptions.

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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