Steps to Pursuing a Wind Turbine Installation
- Evaluate your local wind resource. Generally, residential wind energy projects start to become economical at annual average wind speeds of 11 mph and above. Utility-wind projects require an annual average wind speed of 14.5 mph (at a height of 80 meters) to be feasible;
- Use the Ohio Wind Resource Map, on the Ohio Power Siting Board’s web site, to obtain a preliminary evaluation of the local wind resource. You can zoom in to your location, select a height of wind speed, and click on the plus sign to the immediate left of the chosen height to expand the legend for that height.
- Use the AWS windNAVIGATOR® to obtain a preliminary evaluation of the local wind resource. You must register to view the map, however registration is free. After registering, you may select a desired height (60 or 30 meters) on the top frame of the map, zoom into your location and determine wind speed value, or range, using the scale in the upper right.
- Check Green Energy Ohio’s public wind database for wind data near you!
- Review websites to familiarize yourself with basic wind energy information. Examples include:
Information from these websites will help explain the differences between:
Small/residential-sized turbines (typically refers to turbines less than 100 kW in capacity).
- Project example: Ralph Dull Farm west of Dayton
- Additional resource: U.S. DOE Small Wind Electric Systems: An Ohio Consumer’s Guide. This guide is a more detailed source to follow and learn about small wind.
- Visit GEO’s a list of Renewable Energy Installers that can provide more detailed info regarding costs and potential power generation.
Mid-sized turbines (typically refers to turbines rated from 100 kW to 1 MW in capacity).
- Project example: Great Lakes Science Center 225 kW Turbine
Commercial/industrial-sized turbine projects (typically refers to a group [e.g., five or more] of large/utility scale turbines [1 MW or greater in capacity] that are grouped together on a wind farm. Turbines on a wind farm are usually connected to high voltage transmission lines and power is sold to a utility through a power purchase agreement).
- There are two utility-scale wind farms currently in Ohio: the Timber Road II Wind Farm, and the Blue Creek Wind Farm.
- Several additional wind farm development projects are being planned in Ohio. These projects are in various stages of development. For information on future wind farm development refer to the Ohio Power Siting Board’s Wind Summary.
- Turbine Spacing: a general rule of thumb is three to five rotor diameters apart perpendicular to the prevailing wind, and five to ten rotor diameters apart in the direction of the prevailing wind.
- If you are interested in leasing your land to a wind developer, Click here for a list of developers working in Ohio.
Community wind projects (usually refers to an approach to wind energy development that emphasizes local ownership, involvement, and benefits).
- Project example: Bowling Green Municipal Wind Farm
- If you choose to pursue a community wind or commercial/industrial sized project (mid-size or utility-scale turbines), a wind resource assessment study should be conducted (12 to 18 mos.) to collect site-specific wind data. GEO performs these studies through our Monitoring Ohio Wind Program.
- Conduct a feasibility study. A detailed feasibility study will usually include the following tasks:
- Identifying zoning & permitting requirements,
- Analysis of on-site utility bills,
- Site visit & research,
- Evaluation of local wind resource,
- Identifying wind turbine options,
- Calculating energy production estimates,
- Identifying utility interconnection requirements,
- Performing a financial analysis (including costs to install and operate a turbine, payback period, return on investment, etc.), and
- Report preparation.GEO has performed wind turbine feasibility studies at various locations in Ohio. Contact Emily@greenenergyohio.org or 216-789-5248 for additional information.
- Grants (State & Federal). For a complete list of federal and state incentives, refer to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency: www.dsireusa.org. Here are links for grants offered by USDA, and the federal tax credit:
- Contact your local zoning dept. to inquire about zoning restrictions, setback requirements and permits/variances that may be required to install a temporary wind monitoring tower and/or wind turbine. Wind projects 5 MW and greater in capacity are subject to review by the Ohio Power Siting Board.
- Contact your local utility to confirm that you can create a net metering agreement. The Ohio net metering law pertains only to investor-owned utility service areas (AEP, Duke Energy, First Energy, Dayton Power & Light), however, some electric cooperatives offer net metering. This agreement would pertain to the physical act of interconnection to the grid as well as the financial side of accounting for the power being generated.
- Avian Concerns. Depending on project location, wind farm developers typically perform pre- and post-construction avian studies to evaluate potential impacts to avian wildlife. Northwest, Ohio has good wind resources, but is also an important area for migratory birds. Most wildlife experts agree that impacts to birds and bats from single, small/residential sized turbines are minimal. However, GEO recommends contacting the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife (e-mail their Wind Energy Wildlife Biologist at Keith.Lott@dnr.state.oh.us) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Reynoldsburg Field Officeto obtain additional information and discuss your proposed project in order to minimize potential wildlife impacts.