What is the enviornmental impact?
Each of our turbines makes power from moving air – no consumables!! This replaces coal being consumed and burned. For example, our 600 kW wind turbine in Chicago will replace about 1 million pounds of coal being burned annually to produce the same power. That coal will load the atmosphere with lots of nasty chemicals and nearly a million pounds of CO2 annually.
And if you live in water short regions, use of wind turbines avoids the use of water that is needed to cool and generate steam to operate the coal (and nuclear) plants. For example the power produced by that same 600kw wind turbine in Chicago, if produced by coal fired power plants would require the use of 11 million to 37 million gallons of water annually.
I see companies (e.g. IKEA, Google, Facebook, Dow Chemical) buy wind farms to offset their power consumption. Why not do that?
While production of power from remote wind farms does produce renewable energy for the grid and to a degree offsets production of fossil or nuclear energy, your customers won’t, in general, realize you are doing this and frankly, you don’t really know if the power is being sold “twice” as renewable energy or used by the utility that transmits it to count as part of their renewable energy portfolio in meeting state Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) requirement. Also, the transmission and distribution companies will add their charges to that power, so the value of electricity you would generate in remote area is on average in the US equal to $0.045/kwh.
This is why progressive companies are moving to on-site generation as much as they can. It is much more visible to their stakeholders and much more cost-effective if the generation is done at a good price – e.g. using a RWVP wind turbine. Also, RWVP remanufactured and modernized wind turbines (with an equivalent new warranty) are sized for your site and usage.
How about buying “Off-sets” from the electric provider? If you buy offsets, your utility can play the shell game where they just sell their dirty energy to someone else.
What is different in the US?
Given the costs of installation, it makes no sense in US economics to put the turbines back in the ground “as is”. We, at RockWind, believe that for distributed operation and a proper return on investment, these turbines must be remanufactured and modernized to today’s state of the art. They must be capable of remote supervision and remote 24/7 monitoring of operation and condition – much as modern jet engines are monitored in commercial aircraft.
We believe that with an on-site RWVP turbine you get maximum value out of your investment as well as wind turbine that will provide many years of trouble free operation by being monitored at a distance and rebuilt with the most durable components available. We don’t expect that you will be a wind turbine expert. These turbines have already solidly proved they can run trouble free for 10+ years. We make them even better than when they were new. Then they are automated to run autonomously; but overseen by remote monitoring. You get the benefits; but don’t need to operate them.
Why a remanufactured RWVP turbine?
RWVP mid-scale wind turbines are utility rugged – in fact they were designed for utility use. These turbines were designed for 30+ year operation. It is only due to repowering in Europe that they are available in such good condition. Then we rebuild and update them with the latest in computer controls and wear resistant materials. Thus, we are able to offer our customers a like new turbine with new turbine warranties (2 year) for half the price of new turbines – If you could find them in this size.
Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Wind Power
Wind turbines are soaring to record sizes. The average rotor diameter of turbines installed in 2014 grew to 99.4 meters, up 108 percent since 1998-1999. | National Renewable Energy Laboratory photo.
Communications Team Lead, Wind and Water Power Technologies Office
This article is part of the Energy.gov series highlighting the "Top Things You Didn't Know About..." series. Be sure to check back for more entries soon.
10. Human civilizations have harnessed wind power for thousands of years. Early forms of windmills used wind to crush grain or pump water. Now, modern wind turbines use the wind to create electricity. Learn how a wind turbine works.
9. Today’s wind turbines are much more complicated machines than the traditional prairie windmill. A wind turbine has as many as 8,000 different components.
8. Wind turbines are big. A wind turbine blade can be up to 260 feet long, and a turbine tower can be over 328 feet tall -- taller than the Statue of Liberty.
7. Higher wind speeds mean more electricity, and wind turbines are getting taller to reach higher heights above ground level where it’s even windier. See the Energy Department’s wind resource maps to find average wind speeds in your state or hometown and learn more about how taller wind turbines can expand developable areas for wind energy production in the Energy Departments 2015 Enabling Wind Power Nationwide report.
6. Most of the components of wind turbines installed in the United States are manufactured here. There are more than 500 wind related manufacturing facilities located throughout the United States, and the U.S. wind energy industry currently employs more than 73,000 people.
5. The technical resource potential of the winds above U.S. coastal waters is enough to provide more than 4,000 gigawatts of electricity, or approximately four times the generating capacity of the current U.S. electric power system. Although not all of these resources will be developed, this represents a major opportunity to provide power to highly populated coastal cities. See what the Energy Department is doing to develop offshore wind in the United States.
4. The United States generates more wind energy than any other country except China, and wind has accounted for more than a third of all newly installed U.S. electricity generation capacity since 2007.
3. The United States’ wind power capacity reached more than 65.8 gigawatts by the end of 2014.That’s enough electricity to power more than 17.5 million homes annually -- more than the total number of homes in –Alaska, California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Vermont COMBINED- and represents nearly a 25-fold increase in capacity since 2000.
2. Wind energy is affordable. Wind prices for power contracts signed in 2014 and levelized wind prices (the price the utility pays to buy power from a wind farm) are as low as 2.35 cents per kilowatt-hour in some areas of the country. This is the lowest ever price recorded by the Energy Department’s annual Wind Technologies Market Report.
1. By 2050, the United States has the potential to avoid the emission of more than 12.3 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases and save 260 billion gallons of water by continuing to increase the amount of wind energy that powers our homes, schools and businesses. In 2015, the Energy Department released Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States, which quantifies the economic, social, and environmental benefits of a robust wind energy future through 2050.