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A residential wind turbine can move you closer to zero on the power grid. A residential wind turbine can move you closer to zero on the power grid.

One Win for the Wind

 
I’ve been to Holland four or five times, and I never fail to smile when I see the many modern wind turbines facing down a stiff breeze in soldierly formation, their slender arms rotating in mesmerizing fashion. Like trees with leaves, these man-made structures give the air presence and visibility—that they can produce clean energy often seems like a thrown-in bonus to what could pass as modern art. And so I have to smile again when I see that Arizona-based Southwest Windpower, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Laboratory, has produced the Skyline 3.7, a wind turbine built with residential application in mind. This low-cost, low-profile home wind turbine connects directly to the home, powering your appliances, plugged-in devices, and electricity-hungry systems when the wind is blowing. Estimates suggest that the Skyline 3.7 could pay for itself in utility cost savings in as little as 5-12 years—variables like rebate incentives and high-wind regions can drop that estimation. Excess energy can be sold back to the utility company or stored for use at a later time. With a cost of $8,000-10,000, the Skyline 3.7 isn’t a product that every homeowner can run right out and purchase, but it should give everyone food for thought, and it should certainly keep everyone’s eyes out for continued development in the area of residential wind power. Southwest Windpower’s products are sold through specific dealers, which can be found on their website. Blow, wind, blow!


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