I just had to report on a recent personal trip to St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.
I immediately noticed with much pleasure the number of wind turbines that have gone up since I had been there last. In a place where independence is a necessity, where there’s even people living off-grid- famously at the Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute, I have to give credit to these wind pioneers, trying to make it happen.
I guess in the land of fun in the sun, without some kind of state incentives which they don’t have, -and in the face of an entirely uncooperative utility in VIWAPA (famous picture of ex Head of the utility giving a literal “thumbs down” standing in front of a wind turbine), although widely used, person after person told me solar remains too expensive. I find it hard to believe, since that is with utility electric rates around .45/kWh plus a roving fuel surcharge that so few can understand, but most say almost doubles the bill at times. I always think it should be a no-brainer, but residents tell me otherwise.
On second time passing some of these turbines though, I found myself dismayed. For the most part the turbines are working well, but some were sitting idle, even though I was there during the famed “Christmas Winds”.
I can only surmise that all the ones not spinning are purposely shut off for some reason (?)
I Hope so! Maybe they were just away for the holidays. I do have to say the majority of wind turbines I saw were spinning away, pumping out the kilowatt hours. You have to know by now I love the look of that!
These vertical axis wind turbines are still somewhat “experimental”, are derided by wind enthusiasts unless they meet strict “lift” versus “drag” aerodynamic concepts, many are prone to “amateur situations”. The one pictured below was cranking, I wonder what the output is.
I must recommend everyone to (please!) read Paul Gipe’s Wind Power or Paul Gipe’s Wind Energy Basics, before even looking into a wind turbine.
It’s pretty simple : a $20-30 investment to help figure out if you are going to make a mistake or just make the mistake for $5,000-15,000.
When I think of those turbines not spinning, I wonder if, sometime in the near future, we going to see ads on Craigslist-US Virgin Islands for “hardly used wind turbines”?
I hope not, I’d rather see those up and running. I guess I’ll keep my eyes peeled, and definitely let me know if you hear anything!