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Residential Wind Turbines: The Next Addition to City Skylines?

Residential Wind Turbines: The Next Addition to City Skylines?

Powering your home may be as easy as the wind, if the experimental wind turbine units atop several buildings in Manhattan live up to their lofty expectations.

According to the New York Times, one of these experimental buildings is using 10 one-kilowatt turbines to generate electricity for elevators and common area lighting (such as hallways). At a collective cost of $100,000, the payback period for wind turbine energy could be around 11 years, and even sooner in high-wind corridors or states with rebate programs. The six-figure price tag makes sense for commercially owned buildings such as apartment complexes and condos. But detatched house owners, don’t despair! You have options too.

Wind power is often overshadowed in the news by its brighter, sexier counterpart: Solar energy. Wind power outshines solar energy for many renewable energy connoisseurs however, including Dr. Mark Jacobson, Stanford University professor of civil and environmental engineering. Dr. Jacobson clearly outlines why wind power is the best bet for energy options. Engineers like Dr. Jacobson and New York City risk-takers are both in good company–the entire country of Germany seems to be captivated with the potential of wind:

It’s heartening to this San Franciscan to know that renewable energy sources are being embraced not only by individual home owners longing to leave the grid and lower their energy bill in the process, but also by building owners and managers like those in New York. If wind can make it there, it can make it anywhere.

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12 comments

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5:23PM PST on Feb 3, 2009

The biggest block to home owners who live in a Covenant Controlled Community, is the CCC Board. They would not allow this to happen. They should have to pay OUR heating and light bills, and then "I betcha" they would come around. I think a few wind thingys in our back yard would be delightful!

And I'm not talking pinwheels either...LOL. Seriously, I think its neat to see row upon row of those things out on the plains...we have a HUGE wind farm just outside of Lamar Colorado, but that isn't close to us...there are a few visible not too far from our house, but not a great amount of them..
I should join the covenants committee, then I could make a suggestion. Maybe. I doubt they would listen. Ever wonder what happens to those annual dues people pay to belong to their covenants groups?

3:01AM PST on Jan 15, 2009

A 10kW wind turbine installed is around $45,000 and qualifies for a $4000 federal tax rebate. A 1.7 kW Skystream small wind turbine is $12,000 installed. Some local incentives may be available -- check ww dsireusa.org for your state and local incentives. alwallace @ covad.net

8:59PM PST on Jan 14, 2009

Here in Texas, we often have damaging hail storms that would destroy roof-mounted solar cells.

8:32PM PST on Jan 14, 2009

Our family has the land, where can we find a company to install? Like Steve Gomer said we need more information! our sugar cane crops were destroyed by the hurricanes snd there is so much salt content we can't grow anything. Sooo, this sounds good to me!

9:33AM PST on Jan 14, 2009

yes, this is great news, but the writer doesn't seem to go far enough . they need to include things like, is it available now(for the general public)?and where can we purchase these? and how much would it cost? and does it qualify for any type of government deduction off our taxes? these are the kinds of information that will help us to make decisions that can benefit us...

8:10AM PST on Jan 14, 2009

If you believe the media hype Aliens targetted our local wind turbines (Lincolnshire UK) and knocke a blade off and damaged another.The company that owns them now have sucurity guard sand dog patrols to deter the alien souvenier hunters from chopping bits off the machinery. Even more bizarre the company owning these government subsidised turbines are among the most expensive electricity providers in the UK, Real funny when you think their fuel costs nothing and the other providers have coal,gas,oil,nuclear etc fuel costs!

8:10AM PST on Jan 14, 2009

If you believe the media hype Aliens targetted our local wind turbines (Lincolnshire UK) and knocke a blade off and damaged another.The company that owns them now have sucurity guard sand dog patrols to deter the alien souvenier hunters from chopping bits off the machinery. Even more bizarre the company owning these government subsidised turbines are among the most expensive electricity providers in the UK, Real funny when you think their fuel costs nothing and the other providers have coal,gas,oil,nuclear etc fuel costs!

7:50AM PST on Jan 14, 2009

I live in Florida & would love to get one of those on my house. Does anybody know how much they cost & where to get one?

7:45AM PST on Jan 14, 2009

Remember the energy crises of 1973-74? Wind turbine stores opened across the country and as soon as oil prices dropped they disappeared. We need an energy policy with incentives for local communitieis rather than ordinances that require a home owner who wants to erect a wind turbine to own enough land so the tower would not fall on a neighbor's structure. Look out stately Oaks, your soon to go.

6:23AM PST on Jan 14, 2009

Vertical axis wind turbines make a good retrofit for fireplace chimneys which are increasingly being restricted or prohibited based on pollution - they are the highest point of the structure, can be reinforced internally and can still have decorative electric fire inserts. Vertical axis turbines are quieter and are visible to birds and don't need the space to pivot toward the wind...They also can be quite artistic and aesthetically appealing.

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