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When I read about the training workshops for small wind power dealers for WePower, I found no information on the site to let you know how much their units will cost. But if you want to sell (or buy) their vertical axis revolving wind turbines, you'd want to know how cost-effective they are.

Green Economy

How to Calculate Cost Per Kilowatt-hour of a Small Wind Power Install

When I read about the training workshops for small wind power dealers for WePower, I found no information on the site to let you know how much their units will cost. But if you want to sell (or buy) their vertical axis revolving wind turbines, you’d want to know how cost-effective they are.

When I read about the training workshops for small wind power dealers for WePower, I found no information on the site to let you know how much their units will cost. But if you want to sell (or buy) their vertical axis revolving wind turbines, you’d want to know how cost-effective they are.

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Here is how you can calculate the cost per kilowatthour for (any given) small wind turbine install, once you know your wind speed range, the output, and how long you’d get power from it, plus the unit cost.

Once you know these numbers, you can do the math yourself. We have all the numbers we need to do the math, other than the cost per turbine. You can contact the manufacturer to get that.

First, check your utility bill to see how many kwh you use a month. You want a unit that makes that much monthly even in low wind conditions if you want to get 100% of your energy from renewable power.

For example, the WePower 12 KW Falcon (PDF), about 18 feet tall with the tower. On a site with 30 mile an hour winds 10%-40% of the time, their  12 KW Falcon turbine  production of electricity monthly would range between 833 kwh/month and 3,500 kwh a month. So, worst case scenario is 833 kwh a month.

(While it is unlikely that you live in an area with 30 mile an hour winds 10-40% of the time, it is quite possible that an industrial park outside town, or a rural area has those kinds of wind speeds. )

Take the monthly kWh production. Multiply that by the number of months the turbine is expected to last, and divide the result into the cost of the turbine. The number you end up with is the cost per kWh over the lifetime of the turbine.

So if the WePower 12 KW system cost $10,000 (for example), and we know it makes – worst case scenario of decent wind only 10% of the time – 833 kwh a month for 20 years, then its making your electricity for 19 cents per kwh.

Because 833 kwh x 240 months = 199,920 kwh, divided by $10,000 = $0.19 per kilowatthour.

Not bad. If you check your energy bill, you can see what you are paying on average per kwh now for the filthy fossil fuel that your utility loves to send you now. In many states, this won’t be so different from what you pay now.

But that hypothetical $10,000 is before incentives, tax credits and local rebates. So, next, check out all the ways you can reduce this theoretical $10,000 cost. Find your new cost and do the math based on that.

Given that there are the 30% Federal tax credits, many business incentives, plus your own state’s incentives, that could put these turbines very competitively in your budget. The Department of Energy Renewable Energy site dsire lists all the nationwide and all the state by state incentives.

Now add in the costs; if any, of interest over however many years you’ll need to pay back the $10,000, if you are both borrowing and cannot deduct the interest. If you can deduct the interest next year on taxes, because you can deduct interest on a second mortgage, don’t add in the interest cost, obviously.

Image: WePOWER

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writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.

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