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Residential Wind Systems
Introduction
 
Small electric wind turbines for residential or small commercial use have been available for more than three decades. The current technology is highly reliable and converts wind energy into electricity efficiently.
 
Wind turbines for a residential application typically range in electrical output capacity from 500 watts up to 10 kilowatts. These systems are mounted on towers. Tower heights are generally between 60 and 100 feet off the ground, preferably at least 30 feet above any obstructions within a 300 feet radius. The wind turbines have blades or rotors, which are up to 20 feet in diameter.

For an excellent small wind guide, please see:
 
 
Small Wind Electric Systems: An Oregon Consumer's Guide Small Wind Electric Systems: An U.S. Consumer's Guide (PDF 1.5 MB - Spanish)
 
Land use
Permits are required before installing towers and wind turbines in Oregon; contact your local government planning and construction permitting agencies. Do this early on in the process to determine what land use and construction permits you will need for your site and how long those processes take.
 
Interconnection
You will also need electrical building permits. If your system is connected to the utility power grid, you will have to identify the terms and conditions of connecting to your utility's service. Those terms and conditions should cover installing and connecting your turbine, as well as the terms and conditions of any exchange or purchase of power from your wind resource. For more information, see our webpage relating to interconnection issues.
 
Net Metering for Small Facilities
In Oregon, your electric distribution utility is obligated to provide a net-metering agreement for wind energy systems of 25 kilowatts capacity or less. The utility may value at its avoided cost the excess power generated by the customer. When the total customer-generation capacity exceeds 0.5% of a utility's historic single-hour peak load, net metering eligibility can be limited by the regulatory authority. The text of the net metering law can be found here.

Each of the utilities has a description of its net metering procedure.
Here is information on PGE's and Pacific Power's net metering policies.
For more specific information, contact your local utility for more specifics.

 
Cost and benefits
You can use this calculator to evaluate the costs and benefits of your wind turbine installation:
http://www.windustry.org/calculator/default.htm
 
For more information, please review the following resources:
 

"Apples & Oranges 2002 - Choosing a Home-Sized Wind Generator" (PDF)

Reprinted with permission from Home Power magazine August/Sept 2002 and author Mick Sagrillo. The Oregon Department of Energy makes no guarantee of the accuracy of the information provided and does not endorse any of the products discussed.
 
Windustry's introduction to wind energy:
http://www.windustry.org/wind-basics/wind-basics
 
The American Wind Energy Association Small Wind section:
http://www.awea.org/la_smallwind.cfm
 
While most small wind turbines are installed in rural areas, there is considerable interest in introducing small wind turbines in urban environments. This link provides information on Eurpean urban wind activities.
http://www.urbanwind.net/downloads.html 
Residential Wind
 
Community & Distributed Wind
 
Utility Scale Wind
 
Wind Power Information
 
Oregon Wind Working Group
 
Wind Incentives 
The Oregon Department of Energy makes no guarantee of the accuracy of the information provided and does not endorse any of the products discussed.