Energy Independence for Communities
As more and more communities around the world consider their energy source into the future, there is interest in energy independence. For communities in densely populated areas already serviced by a transmission grid, there is interest in redundant or back-up energy sources based on wind resources at the local or regional level. The less transmission is needed, the more productive is the energy system.
In many places in Europe and Australia, communities are seeking to take more charge of their energy sources and systems. They are self-organizing, researching for appropriate technology, and willing to take on financing projects. However, for many of these communities, they find challenges with permitting sites with the tall, horizontal axis conventional turbines. For many of the reasons identified in the Difficult-to-Develop sites, communities are seeking a lighter footprint, a smaller footprint, and a high-quality long-term solution to their needs.
WHI Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Systems (WHI VAWT Systems) are designed to meet the needs of these groups, if they have access to sites with adequate wind resource: 6.5 m/s or more at 10 meters above ground. Wind speed data and verification has been gathered extensively over the past twenty years, and there is a relationship between conventional wind speed data at 50m with wind speed data needed for the WHI VAWT Systems calculations. Many sites that are appropriate for conventional wind farms will also be appropriate for WHI VAWT Systems.
Helping communities to assess and develop a WHI VAWT Systems project will require that the many variables are taken into consideration. Each site and each community is unique. See more in the discussion about Project Costs and variables. Our team is willing to host an on-line seminar with members of our team whose expertise could help communities make decisions about securing their energy independence.
A community group is 110 miles from a major city, in a high-wind, rural area in southern Australia. The community determined to build a renewable energy source for its long-term development, and researched their options. They moved to secure a permit to place four tall Siemens 2.3MW turbines in an area where rights to use the land had been secured. They knew their approximate costs, and they had set up financing and were able to secure some help from government sources. All seemed to be moving forward, however, they were not able to secure a permit for the large turbines. The visual blight issue along with avian and other environmental issues were raised by other members of their larger community. The permit was not issued.
However, it is likely that the permitting agency would have come to a different decision had WHI VAWT Systems been presented as an option. The following attributes are “music to the ears” of regulators or planning commissioners who are seeking to balance the needs of the community for renewable energy moving into an uncertain future with the immediate “visual blight and sound pollution” of the natural landscape for tens of miles around.
- Low height profile: 18m as opposed to 130m of the Siemens 2.3MW
- 1/7th of the height and blending in with the natural environment
- Lower footprint for installation and infrastructure
- Lower accoustic impact than HAWT
- Avian and wildlife friendly
- Similarly efficient when set up in linear arrays, utilizing the coupled vortex effect
- Cost competitive with HAWTs
- Local workers can be trained for installation/operations/maintenance
- Regional qualified steel manufacturers can secure license to produce turbines – job development
- Turbine System from a quality company with decades of field experience in VAWT wind energy