60 Questions/Answers about Wind Turbines By Ben B.Boothe

60 FACTS (or more), QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT WIND TURBINES AND WIND POWER

1. Is wind power safe?

Of 90,000 wind turbines in the world, no member of the public has been killed or seriously injured by wind, ever. This compares with thousands of injuries coming from Coal, Gas, Nuclear, and other Electricity production. Wind power is the safest alternative energy on earth.

2. What causes wind to produce electricity?

The turbine, a "fan" spins a generator, thus converting energy in the wind into electricity. Most believe wind is caused by solar impacts on the earth. So wind energy is a dynamic form of solar energy.

3. How much electricity can a turbine produce?

It depends upon the location, size and design of the turbine. A small unit for your home can produce 1 kW or about $100 per month in power. A larger home unit can produce 5 kW or $300 to $700 per month in electricity. A 20 kW unit can produce from $1,200 to $2,800 per month. An 80 kW unit can produce $2,500 to $7,000 per month. A 250 kW unit can produce from $12,000 per month to $28,000 per month. A 1000 kW (megawatt) can produce up to $100,000 per month.

4. What do turbines cost?

From $5,900 to $3,000,000. See www.wind-inc.com

5. What is a typical rate of return on my investment in a turbine?

We have seen a range of 19% IRR to 27% IRR. This will vary with location, winds, design, cost of electricity and quality.

6. What are the variables of wind production?

* a. Wind Speed
* b. Cost of electricity
* c. Capacity of the turbine

7. Can I predict what my production will be?

Yes, find out the average wind speed for your location, find out the capacity and "rating" of your turbine, and find out the cost of electricity (electric rate). With these three numbers you can give a reasonable estimate of what your production will be. Most turbine distributors can give you this information, such as www.wind-inc.com, for customers when they purchase.

8. Are wind turbines noisy?

Some have "lattace" towers that produce more wind speed noise. Some have poor blade design that cause them to whine. NBC carried a television story about the high noise one one turbine that is made in Arizona, that produces about $100 to $140 per month. We recommend that you consider the source of the turbines. The turbines that www.wind-inc.com distribute make less noise than any turbines. Many people who have them have reported that they are silent, that they have never heard them. Sound tests show our turbines to produce so little noise that the microphone has difficulty picking up a reading. Most of the turbines made in Holland are of good design, are almost silent. The average wind turbine produces less than 1/2 the noise of a typical swimming pool pump motor. Even our 250 kWh units (which can make $15,000 to $20,000+ in electricity per month) are very quiet. We interviewed a school that has 4 turbines, 50 kWh power each, on lattace towers. They said that neighbors had complained of the noise, and we personally went to see this unit. It is a loud unit, this 50 kW unit makes much more noise and is much louder than our 80 kW unit, sold by www.wind-inc.com.

9. Do wind turbines kill birds?

Remember, hunters kill birds. Cars, trucks and highline wires kill birds. Office buildings kill birds. There are reports that birds fly into light poles, and high line wires. There are reports that birds fly into turbines, although this is rare. The large turbines are large and moving, and birds see this and tend to fly around or over them. Official studies indicate that a typical large megaWatt wind turbine will experience 1.5 birds flying into it per year. About half the rate of a typical car. A typical office building kills 20 times this number. A typical truck kills 5 times this number. A typical house cat has been shown to kill 8 birds, 15 mice/rats and 2 squirrels per year.

10. Do wind turbines cause headaches?

The giant turbines create a low frequency pressure wave, that can be felt by some people if they are standing within 20 feet of the turbine. There is no evidence that this is harmful. But, most large turbines are built 1000 feet away from any buildings. Small wind turbines cause no physical problems and often cannot be heard or felt. The turbines of www.wind-inc.com have no impact on health, except they save you the stress of paying electric bills. You can drop by our offices. We have two turbines, within 50 feet of our staff offices. We cannot hear the turbines, nor have we experienced any health problems. Most people who come by enjoy standing under them and watching.

11. How is a turbine rated?

The rated speed indicates how the unit is engineered, so that it will show how much electricity is produced at certain RPM’s. For example a "5 KW unit" is engineered to produce 5000 watts of electricity per hour for 24 hours a day, at it’s rated wind speed.

12. How deep does a wind turbine have to be "planted"?

This depends upon the location, winds, soils, and size of the unit. For example, a 5 kW unit with a 37 foot pole, should have another 10 feet in concrete underground. If it is planted in sand or marshy lands, it will need a deeper hole. If in solid rock, it can have a smaller hole. Most installers will determine this in the installation process. A 10 kWh turbine with a taller pole would require a deeper hole. Some are not put in poles, but are put on roofs or braced on the side of buildings.

13. Should I have a "wind study" or "paid wind consultation"?

You can, if you are not familiar with the winds in your area, but most people can determine what their wind speeds average, with public data or a wind speed guage. Most turbine distributors can give you this information. A consultant would be required if you are spending a lot of money, but much of the data is publicly available. Some companies make more money on "studies" than in selling the turbines, so be careful. Companies such as www.wind-inc.com will actually go to your location and give you wind speeds as a part of the service when you purchase. This is the rule of thumb. If your investment is less than $100,000 then we don’t suggest a paid independent study.

14. Will a wind turbine increase insurance costs to my property?

* So far insurance companies report no losses on wind turbines, few or no claims and the insurance industry has only small fees for wind turbines. In one case a turbine actually decreased the insurance cost of the real estate. Just "itemize" it on your policy. It would be similar to a satellite dish, TV or radio tower.

15. Are wind turbines hard to install?

No Small ones can be installed in 1.5 days. Larger ones often take more time for preparation and will need a crain and crew for installation.

16. Are there any success stories that prove that wind is effective and efficient?

Yes. California produces electricity for 650,000 homes in Los Angeles, with wind farms near Palm Springs. Texas produces electricity for 690,000 homes, primarily in Fort Worth and Dallas, and North Texas. Other smaller success stories for individual use are schools like Shallowater, Texas. The Shallowater ISD has 5 turbines that save the school $148,000 per year. This money is used to hire special reading teachers and buy books for students. Mayor Bloomberg of New York City has urged every building and bridge in NYC to consider wind turbines for additional power. The Logan Airport at Boston is shown with a building that has several wind turbines generating power. www.wind-inc.com is selling turbines throughout the USA and thus far no customer has ever complained or been disappointed. A grocery store owner in Canada purchased one, and said that it increased his store volume of sales so much that it paid for the wind turbine in 2 months. In general the public likes wind power, because it is clean, and comes from nature.

17. Are there other applications? Where can a wind turbine be put?

At your home. At a resort house, cabin, or hunting place. Condominiums and apartment buildings. Hospitals, prisons, shopping centers, court houses, mobile home parks, mini storage buildings, banks, industrial buildings, on bill boards, prisons, hospitals, commercial office buildings. One grocery store in Canada reported that it’s retail business increased 22% after installation of a wind turbine, because of "public curiosity and support".

18. Why should I buy a wind turbine?

* Because you believe in it.
* You believe in clean energy.
* You believe in our nation’s need for more electricity.
* You want to be more independent of the "grid", in the event it fails.
* Because you want to do something for our environment for the sake of your kids and grandkids.
* Because you need the tax advantages.
* Because you don’t want to pay an electric bill again.
* Because it is a better investment, more stable, and more reliable than the stock market, and other types of investments.
* Because electric rates continue to rise and because the world may see shortages of power as global population increases.
* Because you want to increase the value of your property.
* Because you want to advertise and create good public relations in your community. What could be better than a "moving" sign, on a high pole?
* Because it is good for you, your community, our nation, and our world.

19. Are wind turbines hard to install?

No. Indeed it can be fun, a family or even party like event. Often a crowd gathers to watch and take photos. When it first spins everyone will cheer. Companies such as www.wind-inc.com will refer good installers, or sometimes even attend and help when you "lean it up". Media outlets like to do coverage on wind turbine installations. The smaller turbines can be installed with the help of 2 or 3 people. Larger turbines will require the rental ($500 per day) of a crain. Prepreparation of the site is necessary, such as having concrete footing, and a trench for your electric line.

20. Will a wind turbine increase the value of my property?

Yes. Professional appraisers have confirmed that a wind turbine increases the value of the property to a greater amount than the cost of the turbine. www.wind-inc.com can help you get an experienced and professional appraiser. The appraisal can be used at your bank or with a lendor. Consider that any investor will pay more for a building that has no electric bill. Appraisers also report that a wind turbine will appreciate in value as electric rates increase, because the production and benefit is more.

21. Why don’t more people put them in?

They are. It is the fastest growing industry in the world, creating more jobs than any other industry with an annual growth rate of 28% worldwide. A man in Dubai said: "If I had 1000 acres and it had a billion dollars of oil under it, you would say ‘Why aren’t you drilling and exploiting this?’. In the USA you have billions of dollars in wind power, and we say the same. Why aren’t you mining this wealth in wind?"

22. Should I do a wind farm?

Wind farms require a year lead time, for studies, engineering and legal issues. Are you near a transmission line? Is there capacity for your new production? The investment is substantial with $1 mill to $3 mill per turbine. We suggest that you have a minimum of 10 to 15 turbines and preferably more for a wind farm. If you decide to do a wind farm, we can help you. We can get the turbines and help you with engineers and coordination. But it is big endeavor, requiring a strong investment group, and we will require time to plan, bring in the appropriate specialists and coordinate the project for you.

23. Should I have an individual turbine for my business and my home?

Yes, if you have a good location with appropriate wind speeds. It is a loss for you of earnings, savings, tax advantages, and energy independence if you do not. Plus we need clean energy production in the USA.

24. What are appropriate wind speeds?

Most good turbines will spin at 5 to 6 miles per hour. But, we at www.wind-inc.com recommend wind speeds of 14 miles per hour or higher for electric production. Most of west Texas fulfills this. Dallas averages 13.9 mph. Arlington 14.1 mph. Fort Worth 14.3 mph. Further west and north, the wind speeds increase to averages of 18 mph or even higher. If you put these turbines on a higher pole you will pick up even more wind speed.

25. What kind of wind turbines are good?

The exotic "egg beaters" and strange designs of 3 to 9 turbines on a tall rod, look interesting, but aren’t very efficient. They are hard to assemble, and often create noise and vibration. The barrell designs are low and heavy, and require high wind speeds for good production. But nothing matches the efficiency of a "2 or 3 blade propeller" design, for cost, effective production, and quiet operation. At www.wind-inc.com we believe the technology from Holland is excellent because that nation has been doing windmills and turbines longer than most. We saw a windmill there that was built in 1740, used to pump the ocean water out, so they could convert the ocean floor to farmlands. We think good traditional designs are of the best value for your investment, and of top electric production.

26. Will electric companies pay me for my power?

By law, most stations and 46 states in the USA require them to pay you for excess production.

This is also the rule in Europe.

But, if you are in a state like Texas, many find it more profitable to just wire in the turbine "behind the meter" and then you run your meter backward, and operate on a "credit". In this way you save electric bills at retail rates. You need to talk to your political representatives and see that they represent your interests. But in truth, we recommend that you buy the turbine that is appropriate to produce the power you need for your building or facility, and don’t worry about selling power back, if you are buying an individual turbine. If you want to invest $15,000,000 or more, then setting up a wind farm and selling power into the grid can make you good profit. But, an individual user is advosed to be just that, an individual user. Let the turbine pay your electric bill, or reduce your electric bill. We doubt that you want to go through the paperwork and regulations to sell power back, if you are just buying power for your home or business.

27. Can I put one in a city limits?

Yes. They are in cities all over the world, in Europe, Latin America, Canada, and coming in the USA. Most cities like Fort Worth only want the unit to be installed so that it is safe and will not fall on a building.

28. Will it increase my insurance?

Depends upon your insurance. Most just add a turbine as "additional equipment" or "fixtures" and it normally doesn’t change your insurance rate, because there have been no losses or disasters relating to wind turbines.

29. Will a wind turbine pay for itself?

Yes, usually in 3 to 7 years, depending upon your winds. But if you are counting pennys and doing this strictly for financial reasons, then go to Las Vegas, and buy a Hummer. You invest in Wind because you want to invest in the future. Future for your kids, your family, the environment. Wind is a solid long term investment. But if you are doing solely for financial reasons, then you have missed the point, and this is not for you. Do it because it is a good thing to do. Become a part of a solution for our nation. The Chairman of AEP one of our largest power companies said: "We must all realize that in just a few years the USA will not be able to produce enough electricity for our needs. Prices will go up much. We need wind, and all kinds of alternative energy. Every person must find a way to do something."

30. Does wind turbine production qualify me for LEEDS?

Yes, it is a big help with LEEDS.

31. Does wind turbine production qualify me for tax advantages?

Yes, several. See question # 60.

32. Does wind turbine production qualify for Carbon Tax Credits?

Yes

33. Can I deduct the price of the turbine off of my taxes?

Yes.

34. Over a 20 year period, what is the total economic benefit to me, if I purchase a 5 kW unit and put on my office?

Approximately $225,000.00

35. Over a 20 year period, what is the total economic benefit to me, if I purchase a 250 kW unit and use in my building?

Approximately $14,000,000.00, not including tax benefits.

36. Will a wind turbine hurt my vegetation, animals, crops or environment?

No impact on animals, crops, or environment will occur.

37. What happens in 20 years when the turbine needs repair?

In 20 years the unit will be "rebuilt" for a nominal fee, and then it is good for 20 more years at even more efficient cost figures.

38. Can I get a turbine that also has a generator and/or batteries?

Yes, there are turbines that have back up diesel generators in days when the wind goes out, or when the grid goes down. Remote locations can even add a battery system, but in most of the USA simply hooking behind the meter and using the "grid" as the storage center is most efficient.

39. Can a turbine be placed on or aside a building?

Yes, this is done all over the world.

40. How can I become a sales representative to sell wind turbines?

Contact us at: www.wind-inc.com

41. Can I purchase a wind turbine, install it, and charge a city or school for the power, or lease it to a third party?

Yes

42. How long does it take to get a wind turbine purchased, and delivered?

You can purchase immediately at: www.wind-inc.com Delivery depends upon your location and the model of turbine you desire.

43. Can I combine a wind turbine and solar panels and a solar water heater?

Yes, we at www.wind-inc.com can provide the turbine, panels and solar water heating that will all go to the same grid tie connector.

44. Can a turbine make real estate or a building more marketable?

Yes. Developers tell us that problem properties that would not sell, become easier to sell when wind turbines are installed to show that there is additional income and "value added" aspects of the property as a green property are introduced. Not only can they get a higher price, but they attract affluent, interested investors.

45. Can a wind turbine be removed from a property?

Yes, one can be removed and moved to another location.

46. Is a turbine equipment or real estate?

Different state laws vary. Most states say that equipment and fixtures are such when "not attached to the ground". A wind turbine, when "attached to the ground" can be defined as part of the real estate by most laws.

47. Can I finance the purchase of a wind turbine with a small down payment?

Yes. www.wind-inc.com has several banks that would love to lend money to you to purchase a wind turbine purchased from them.

48. If the bank needs and appraisal or environmental report, where can I get one?

www.wind-inc.com can help you arrange an appraisal and environmental report when you purchase one of their units.

49. If the power goes out, and a electric company worker is working on the line, what keeps my turbine from shocking him?

www.wind-inc.com units automatically turn themselves off when there is work being done on power lines, as a safety feature.

50. Can a turbine survive high winds or a hurricane?

Yes, our turbines are rated for 150 mile per hour winds.

51. Can I purchase a wind turbine with my credit card?

A turbine is a substantial investment and credit card companies charge high rates. We recommend that you purchase your turbine with cash, savings, a bank loan, or investment loan. You can also lease the turbines on a 6 year payout.

52. Who buys wind turbines?

Cool people. ūüôā

Actually we thought that the market would be dominated by affluent, highly educated, people making $200,000 or more per year. But to our surprise, our clients have included the rich, affluent, and educated, from the big cities, as well as workers, farmers, ranchers, dairymen, and plumbers, electricians. We have even had a wife one to surprise her husband for Christmas. Many couples have come in and said: "We have been thinking about wind energy for years". We have had hundreds of people worth millions, and it seems like millions of people worth "hundreds" also interested. They all share one thing. They are people who care, who believe and who want to be a part of the solution. They are Democrats and Republicans, rich and poor, city and country. In short, the people who buy turbines, are cool people. Join us. Be cool! ūüôā

53. What are some of the main points of installation, what does it cost?

1. Dig a hole (I’d recommend 20feet deep and 48" in diameter for a 20 kW, 15 feet and 36" for a 10 kW, 10 feet for a 5 kW). The depth of the hole will depend upon your location and soils. Hard rock obviously needs a smaller hole than sandy or loose soils.
2. Place the anchor bolts and pour concrete
3. Bolt the pole together
4. Run the wiring through the center of the pole
5. Rent a crain ((usually $100 per hour) and they will lift the pole up so it can be bolted onto the anchors
6. Use the crain to lift the turbine up, screw on the blades
7. Hook the electric lines to your inverter (grid tie).
8. Turn it on.

54. How does a 3 phase AC turbine work with the inverter?

Yes, we can get a 3 phase, which is great for small industry, or even irrigation wells. But you can also use the 3 Phase for your home or office. The wind turbine is 3 Phase AC out. That’s why the controller is 3 Phase AC in. The controller is single phase DC out with a max capacity of 20KW generated at hard wind by the wind turbine.

This DC out of the controller is connected parallel to the entrances of the 3 pcs 7 KW Windy Boys. 3 Pcs Windy boys of 7 KW makes total 21 KW. The Windy boys has a 240 V AC out that must be connected to the grid divided over the 3 Phases of the grid. Your grid is 110V/220V 60 Hz. So the voltage over 2 phase is 220V and over one phase with the ground 110V. We use only the 3 Phase grid not the ground. When we use 240V than the current is lower. That produces less heat and the cables may be thinner.

55. How do we sell electricity and is it practical?

If you are strictly selling electricity (not for your own use) you should call the local electric utility and negotiate a rate. If you are using this for power for a building, ranch or other buildings, then you can go behind the meter and get your "credit" as the meter runs backward. If you are in a city limits you may need a building permit. Most towns are enthused about wind power and easy to deal with. The installation cost will vary with who you hire and how extensive the installation project is.

56. Who does the installation?

Some people do it themselves, some people hire local electricians, some use professional installers. We have seen small (1 Kw to 20 kW) wind turbines installed for "nothing" by owners, for "$800" by basic hourly labor, and for several thousand dollars by companies such as Cummings Electric. The choice is up to you. We always recommend that you have a licensed electrician oversee or check your work. After installation, call your insurance company and be sure that "schedule" the turbine as additional insured equipment or property.

Consider having an "installation" party, you will find that your neighbors will be thrilled and delighted to have a "wind" barbeque with you. Remember, you will have made a tangible and significant contribution to our world’s energy needs and to clean energy. It is something to celebrate!

57. Texas gives a property tax exemption for wind properties.

The Texas property tax code allows an exemption of the amount of the appraised property value that arises from the installation or construction of a solar or wind-powered energy device that is primarily for the production and distribution of thermal, mechanical, or electrical energy for on-site use, or devices used to store that energy. "Solar" is broadly defined to include a range of biomass technologies. "Solar energy device" means an apparatus designed or adapted to convert the radiant energy from the sun, including energy imparted to plants through photosynthesis employing the bioconversion processes of anaerobic digestion, gasification, pyrolysis, or fermentation, but not including direct combustion, into thermal, mechanical, or electrical energy; to store the converted energy, either in the form to which originally converted or another form; or to distribute radiant solar energy or the energy to which the radiant solar energy is converted. "Wind-powered energy device" means an apparatus designed or adapted to convert the energy available in the wind into thermal, mechanical, or electrical energy; to store the converted energy, either in the form to which originally converted or another form; or to distribute the converted energy. Use Texas Property Tax Form 50-123, “Exemption Application for Solar or Wind-Powered Energy Devices” to claim this exemption.

58. Can a city use a wind turbine to produce electricity to run city services, such as electricity for water treatment plants, or sewer treatment systems?

Yes

59. Is there a way to lease or finance a wind turbine?

Yes, some banks, such as Frost Bank, have a leasing program where one can contract to "lease" a turbine for a period of 5 years and at the end of the lease period the turbine belongs to the client. Other banks will lend on wind turbines for a real estate project, on a 5 year balloon loan based upon 15 or 20 year amortization. Since most wind turbines can produce enough electrical savings to pay for themselves, they often will "amortize" or pay off the loan in 5 to 7 years. (Sooner in high wind areas)

60. A few tax credits, grants, and benefits for wind turbine investments.

* There is a 30% investment tax credit for the purchase of a wind turbine. the law says you can also select to take this as a cash grant if you wish. Check with your CPA.
* The USDA will provide up to a 25% of the purchase price and installation REAP grant for agricultural producers or business in ag communities
* There are 5 federal programs giving tax benefits, aid or grants for wind applications
* There is a 2 cents per kWh produced, tax credit, to the owner of a wind turbine annually, credited to taxes
* Commercial buyers of wind turbines can depreciate them over a 5 year period and deduct the entire cost of the turbine from taxes
* We always recommend that you check with a competent CPA to see what your tax status is and which deductions and incentives you qualify for. In some cases there are "offsets", so you may not be able to claim both a 30% ITC and 25% Ag deduction at the same time. But if you are using your turbine for business, you will probably qualify for a 50% accelerated depreciation in your first year. 50% depreciation deduction plus a 30% ITC equals deductions, grants or incentives of 80% in your first year.

61. How much water does wind power use to produce electricity?

Consider this. Nuclear energy uses a huge amount of water. Gas wells use millions of gallons of water to "frac" the wells. Oil wells use large amounts of water. Coal mining uses much water. If we consider that water is a diminishing resource, then we must appreciate the fact that wind turbines use no water to produce electricity.

www.wind-inc.com