Wind Power For Your Own Backyard

Reader Contribution by Kate Wilson

The following information is condensed from a presentation by Brent Summerville, Technical Director of the Small Wind Certification Council.

Small wind can be very rewarding — creating your own electricity from home wind turbines allows you to enjoy energy security, become more connected to weather patterns and the rhythm of the seasons, and interact with your community by hosting curious visitors wanting to learn more about your efforts in sustainability. As Wendy Milne describes in her article, Choosing Renewable Energy, “The aesthetics of wind turbines are irresistible, and we steal a glance at ours almost every time we walk between the house, garden and workshop.”

If you are interested in creating home wind power, start by visiting the US government website for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). This will help you to find state-specific information on a variety of issues such as installation, maintenance and pricing as well as providing you with wind resource maps, for optimizing the placement of your turbine,and contact details for local organizations and authorities. If money is tight and you’d prefer a DIY project, consider building your own wind generator; it will be sturdy, not so expensive, and less efficient than a commercially available unit — but it will be yours and it will create energy.

Here are a few extra resources to help you out:

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency: Click on “FED” for Federal incentives or click on any state for state incentives
Home Power Magazine (click on The Basics and Wind Electricity)
American Wind Energy Association

Build your own: (parts and information) (information and plans for sale)
Axial Flux Windmill Plans (plans available for purchase)