The VAWT at Blue Water Terrace. St. Croix US Virgin Islands. Not Operating at time of picture.
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.
St Croix USVI south shore mini wind farm team
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”.
welcome home!, too bad it wasnt spinning!
close to the street, hopefully not too low to catch the wind
opposite view shows the layout.
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!
South shore Spinnin’!
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.
Drive on the left….VAWT was cranking on the right.
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!
Ok, so- no, it’s not an actual event, but the launch of the concept surely is to us here at All Our Energy.
As a follow up to our previous post Windmade: Change You Select, the European (EWEA) Wind Energy Association are putting forth a new concept: make your event Windmade.
The Windmade concept is an alternative driver to not only create a market for, but to help make available wind-powered electricity. They market to manufacturers who can then label amd market their goods as “Windmade” also letting the public choose to purchase products made with true clean energy (and by rights implying the consumer should consider how other products are made). We really like both ideas.
Great article and chart, although I must call out the questionable info in their “negatives” section. I am tired of giving “equal time” to pros and cons, is if that is “journalism”. Thus, we get comparisons that do not have EQUAL WEIGHT, and ignore that it is the journalist’s job to show the balance to the weight of these arguments.
-First, there is actually evidence showing property values static or even increasing with a wind turbine in view.
-They clarify the bird issue (thank you).
-They murk the waters stating coal is cheaper, but if you’re paying attention, coal is only cheaper because the real costs are not factored in to the price of the coal. It’s as if dirty energy, pollution, and the external costs of those aren’t happening.(refer to previous article Why Wind.)
Other than that small digression, which I just couldn’t let go without comment; it’s very cool, an excellent visual chart, so all is forgiven.
You, as a responsible consumer (or not), can choose to buy products for numerous reasons versus another product. Now, you may also choose an item that has added value, because it was made with clean, renewable wind power.
Well, basically, it’s really windy where I live. That’s great in July and August, when my town is 10-15 degrees cooler than the “mainland”. The other 9-10 months of the year, it makes it quite a bit more uncomfortably cooler here than elsewhere. Best I can tell, that means I get 3 good months, 9 less-than-desirable months. This imbalance has weighed on my thoughts, especially in the winter months, if and when I could hear myself think over the loud bluster; the virtually continuous 20-30 mile-per-hour squall that blows from Columbus Day straight through until Memorial Day, when it then moderates to what is known as a just a “fresh breeze” at about 15-20 MPH, then the cycle repeats; the cycle and its phases a continuous reminder in those thoughts.
As I’ve grown older and less resistant to the cool weather, I kept (keep?) thinking: if I could just capture all that wind to do my bidding, I would feel like I’ve fought back against the sheer slap to the face it can be on particularly “brisk” days; maybe making it worthwhile to put up with; its untamed nature tamed by the mastery of my very impressive hand.
All joking aside, I had spent many waking (and sleeping) hours dreaming up wind power systems.
Understand: this book is the equivalent of the bible, when it comes to wind energy. I was engrossed in it and devoured it quickly. When finished, I eagerly re-read it. I probably refer to it several times a week, or more.
Now crushed by my new understanding that my “unbelievable” designs really were, and had been proven not viable, I went through all the phases of grief. Pulling myself together, I moved on to the concept of having my own modern version of the familiar wind turbine, to both offset my use and maybe generate some extra for cash, the book unfortunately also dashed these dreams on numerous fronts: siting, zoning, grid interconnection and how impossible it might be to actually be paid for my power generation.
Really, a fantastic, truly enlightening book; I hold no grudge. I know to embrace the messenger. Great is great-my dreams aside. New dreams have arisen, this time more reality-based, thanks to Mr Gipe’s in-depth explanations and examples.
Wind Energy Basics by Paul Gipe
If you cannot make it through Wind Power and its considerable bulk, descriptions, explanations and in-depth information; all of which is highly understandable for the average person, there is another alternative:
Wind Energy Basics (2009 edition) By Paul Gipe, which is an extremely condensed version PLUS has invaluable additional information, including completely necessary, exclusive chapters about Community Wind and more. In his summary chapter, he shows how much of our electricity could easily be coming from wind (we could have had 40% of our entire country’s electricity from free wind energy right nowfor the low, low price of the Iraq War thru only 2008!); how advancing every household a wind turbine credit would actually double back it’s investment, and also how such a large percentage of wind power usage could be attained; logistically, financially, and what it would mean economically for our country. We have what we need right now to make it happen, except real leadership.
So, what will make it happen?
It would seem everyday people, like you and I, DECIDING to do something about it, and then following through and acting on that decision is what it is going to take. It’s pretty obvious the people that seem to be entrusted by the public with making this happen, ARE NOT.
The system currently in place IS NOT working. Sadly, even the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has set their sights VERY LOW at wind energy only being 20% of this country’s usage by 2030. 20% in 20+years, from the group that is supposed to be leading the charge? I much prefer Mr. Gipe’s vision of 40%, including his prescription for how it can happen; that it is not just wishful thinking.
Don’t take my word, read these books. Spread the word. Ask your local bookstore to carry them. Give them as gifts. Request them at your library.
Since then, I have still been imagining what can be, educating myself, trying to move these thoughts forward into something tangible, real, meaningful; and will continue along this path wherever it leads.
You can also check out Paul Gipe’s website: Wind-Works