Small-scale wind generation is one way to reduce our dependence on distant, polluting power sources.

A small or "micro" wind turbine is useful for pumping water or providing electricity to a building. A small wind system can provide 50% to 90% of the electricity load of a residential building. With battery storage, an appropriately sized stand-alone system in some locations can power 100% of the electrical needs of a building.

Is Small Wind Right for You?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy and the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, micro wind may work for you if:

  • You live in an area with average annual wind speeds of at least 4.5 meters per second (10 miles per hour).
  • You can determine how much electricity you need or want to produce
  • Utility-supplied electricity is expensive in your area (about 10 to 15 cents per kilowatt-hour).
  • The utility's requirements for connecting your system to its grid are not prohibitively expensive.
  • Local building codes or covenants in your neighborhood or rural area allow you to legally erect a wind turbine on your property.
  • You are comfortable making a long-term investment.

 

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The Small Wind Guide for Virginia provides basic information about micro wind generation.


More Information

There are a variety of resources to help you determine if micro wind is appropriate for your energy needs:

A good resource is the Small Wind Guide for Virginia published by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Visit this Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy link to investigate tools that will help you determine if your property is a candidate for small wind.

The U.S. Department of Energy can help you determine if a small wind system is practical for your home. Just visit their Small Wind FAQ page.

See our list of some local renewable energy providers.