Home Wind Turbines and Utility Grid Tie In
With annually rising energy costs more people want to know their options for their future energy needs. The environmental and economic disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico has heightened the sense of urgency for alternative energy resources.
Home wind turbines are a resource that people in the right areas can utilize to gain control over a portion of their energy needs. In this article we will explore the aspects of interconnection with your local electrical utility and small wind turbines.
Federal law mandates that all investor owned utilities accept interconnection and purchase any excess power generated from the private parties’ generation equipment. The private party is to be reimbursed at the going retail rate that they pay to the utility per kilowatt.
Energy cooperatives are exempt from participation under federal law, although, many cooperatives voluntarily participate, but may reimburse for excess energy at a lesser rate than retail.
Home wind turbines are a fast growing market with a large variety be offered. For those with the right area and economic resources , units can be purchased that will take care of most of their needs, and at times produce excess energy that can be sold back to the utility.
Home wind generators used in utility grid interconnection are the most efficient because they use all of the power being generated. What power the owner doesn’t use is sold back to the utility.
Home wind turbines used in utility grid interconnection are also more cost effective equipment wise because energy storage systems such as battery banks are unnecessary. Batteries have a limited life span and need replacement periodically.
The major drawback of utility grid interconnection is the amount of red tape required. Utilities have strict compliance rules that must be met before they allow interconnection.
They may require that the system be designed by a licensed architect with a degree in electrical engineering, and installed by a licensed electrical contractor. This can become quite costly.
Every aspect of the home wind generators will be thoroughly examined. The technical specifications of every component of the system must be examined and documented. This goes beyond the capabilities of the average applicant, and must be accomplished with professional help.
The owner of the home wind generator must at their own cost and expense, install, maintain, inspect, repair, and operate the facility in complete compliance with all aspects of the utilities requirements. This may require an ongoing budget for professional maintenance services.
Home wind turbine owners will also be required to carry extra insurance to cover any damage their facility might cause to the utility. One particular utility requires 1million dollars in liability insurance.
The higher your energy use, the more you’re savings offset the costs involved with home wind turbines and grid interconnection.
For people with limited resources, small wind turbines coupled with battery banks used to power something off grid, may be a better economic answer for home wind generators.