Just as important as the winds, the location of the wind system is very important too.
A few key issues have to be considered:
Usually the highest point has the best winds, although areas around river valleys, large hills or mountains and large areas of trees can affect the actual site.
Obstructions (Trees & Buildings):
It is generally recommended to install a tower that is a minimum of 10 feet above all obstructions, and to locate the machine at a distance that is twice the height of the obstructions.
Try to locate the windmill in an area where the prevailing winds can get to the machine without any obstruction in front of it.
You will have to contact the following people to determine if it will be applicable to install a wind system at your site:
- Local Building Department
- Power Company (if you are installing a Grid Intertie System)
If you are considering a Grid Inter-tie system, your power companies policies on Back Feeding or Cogeneration are important if you have excess power to sell back to them. There is a federal PURPA (Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act) law which allows Qualifying Facilities to interconnect and sell power to the electric utility companies.
This is when one meter measures the power purchased from the utility and the second meter measures the power that is sold back to the utility. This sometimes allows the utility to set a lower rate for the power they are purchasing from you.
This is when one meter is used to measure the power that is purchased and sold. With Net-Metering, surplus electricity generated by your wind turbine will be credited back to your utility account. So if your wind energy system makes more electricity than you are using, the "meter spins backwards". You are not actually "selling" electricity, since in most states the utility will not reimburse you for excess electricity. But, if your utility offers "Net-Metering" you may be able to get credit for electricity provided back to the grid during peak periods.