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Feasibility Study to Small Wind Community in Cascade Locks Report

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Updated: Jan 7th, 2022

Small community wind

Small wind turbines are new technological generators designed to use wind power for electricity generation. They produce electricity emissions-free for the environment. The power is used for domestic consumptions as well as commercial usage. Individual homes, small organizations, and farms use the power for their daily chores. It has been proven to be cheap compared to other sources of electricity. The local homes have found this kind of power to be more cost-effective, the electricity bill is reduced while the environment is preserved for the future generations. This kind of energy does not emit any gases to the environment that causes pollution. In the US the government has initiated a program for boosting this kind of project. They give grants and other incentives to parties interested in this kind of project.

This is the energy generated from wind power. It uses a simple propeller placed in a free space where there are no obstacles. Small community wind provides an alternative to the power generated by fossil fuels. Global warming has posed a great challenge to fossil fuel-generated power. The emissions of used gases to the air cause pollution and the destruction of the ozone layer. When ozone is destructed the solar heating to the earth’s surface becomes stronger and causes the burning effect. This has called for an alternative source of energy to substitute fossil fuel and protect the ozone layer. Another factor is the cost of fossil fuel-generated power and other known sources. The cost of indigenous sources of energy is too high that some individuals who want to install new power lines in their homes find it impossible. Due to the above factors; this kind of energy has been growing as one of the major sectors of power production. It increases the energy (power) production but does not warm the ozone layer and the cost is also reduced.

In James and Petersen (1999), the small wind does contribute to lowering the rate of global warming. There are no emissions to the atmosphere coming from where this energy is generated. It has been proven to be cost-effective to all the economic sectors that use it as their alternative source of energy. In addition to their consumption, Small firms, private organizations, and government agencies can make additional income from this new technology but still contributes to environmental conservation. The initial installation fee is highly subsidized by the government thus lowering the cost of installation. The small community wind is fast making a track in the community power supply and investment for the less fortunate people. The community is light and income to these households and small organizations is increasing.

The small wind has more benefits in the long run to the community and the organizations.

The dependency on fossil fuel which has price fluctuations is reduced. The supply of this fuel is unreliable in most parts of the world. The overdependence in fossil fuel that destroys the ozone layer is also reduced. This electricity generation has far reaching benefits compared to the recently initiated project of gas electric generation. There will be over dependant on this energy and then the same problem with the fossil fuel will recur.

The use of wind energy has a positive effect to environmental conservation. The utility resource planning increases everyday due to the environmental conservation. The wind energy produced per unit reduces environmental destruction by twice as much. It is at the back of this idea that the government offers incentives to those individuals and organizations who want to start such projects.

The farmers who initiate this project will have long-term benefits; there will be flows of income to for them in many years to come.

A small wind community is a wind project that is initiated by a given community to provide an alternative supply of electricity for domestic power consumption. The immediate reason to this project is to lower the cost of electricity. These community wind projects are locally owned by farmers, the small business owners, the local organizations; schools, colleges & universities, the municipalities and the religious institutions within a given locality. The village electricity corporative also may own the community wind and the Native American tribes. The projects can be a single turbine for family or individual consumption, a group owned or a commercial scale. The commercial scale manufactures the electricity and sells the power to the surrounding community at a cheaper cost. It also creates employment opportunities to the locals.The government have been giving support to this project since it reduces their total cost spent in other sources of electricity. The subsidies for fossil fuel are reduced by almost 50% when the government allocates funds to such projects. Such projects to government, empowers communities and help in increasing the par capita income in the country.

Background of location

For the success of any wind power project, the site should be a suitable one. This will increase the economics of the wind power generation. The site must be free from any obstacles and the speed of the wind is an average one which can turn the turbines to produce constant power. A minimum speed of 5m/second is needed for the generation of wind power but even a lower wind speed can be used. The assessment of the station must be done thoroughly to identify this ideal place for this kind of project.

The small wind plant require an open place where there is continues flow of wind. The turbines are to be in an average height in which they don’t get any obstacle that shields them from wind. The location should be fee from any obstacle and with a good speed of wind. Such a place should not be of use for other more economic viable projects. One these places available here is the Cascade Locks. The place, due to its location provides a humble position to locate such a project site. It also has a wind speed of 15.2 MPH. Cascade Locks; provide such outstanding requirement by the small community wind. Cascade Locks is situated In the Hood River Oregon within the height of 57 feet high in Larch Mountain giving it a free flow of wind. The turbines can therefore, rotate continuously providing a reliable source of electricity to consumers. The Colombian river falls creates a vacuum that accelerates the speed of wind down the slopes. This speed will help turn the turbines at a greater speed producing much power. This forms the basis why the location is preferred; the reliable wind with a high speed and the location height provide a free turn to the firm’s turbines (Friedman and Weese1991).

Tong (2010) Explains that; MT-50A is a wind turbine manufactured by the Max-Wind technologies. MT-50A was developed to supply power from a very low wind speed. The turbine is efficient and can produce up to 50 KW power per second. For small wind power projects, the device has been proven to be more effective. The cost and efficiency was its manufactures target. The turbine is light and it does not require much stronger wind to rotate. Its wings are made from very light materials that turn easily. The turbine is cost effective since it is cheap to buy from the market. MT-50A is cheap as compared to other turbines in the market. Moreover, it’s readily available and this reduces its cost for maintenance and replacement. This device was first manufactured in china to boost the local production of power efficiently. They used it in small power production for household consumption but after some years the usage included small organizations and for farmers and schools. Today, the turbine has been proven to be effective and used globally. The small wind will use this turbine as it is one of the recommended turbines due to its efficiency and cost. The turbine is long lasting and withstands adverse weather conditions. The device can withstand the extreme weather in most regions that result into rusting.

Cost reduction

Khennas, Dunnett and Piggott (2003) in their book say; there is need to utilize our natural resources effectively for the benefit of our community. Since the project is located in the hazardous waste renewal site where there is no much interest for any other economic use; it is a form of land reclamation where it will be turned into a beneficial site. The community will reduce the cost of electricity by using the locally available site. The land cost is therefore, reduced considerably by this fact. The cost of installation can be reduced using the federal incentives. When carrying out installation, a greater cost can be reduced using government subsidies. The government provides several such incentives and subsidies to community projects. The appropriate subsidies that help the small wind reduce much of their installation cost is the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), while for the effective application it should be sandwiched with its grant option. This subsidy is granted by the federal government to promote the community wind power projects. The subsidy targets small owned wind power generations as well as privately owned firms. The farmers owned projects and small organizations.

The ITC will give a credit of 30% of the total installation cost for the whole project. The ITC credit was established in 2009 by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It has three basic benefits for the wind projects initiated by the communities (Gipe, 2009).

Igals (2005) group the benefits as:

  1. The community project initiators are allowed by the federal government to take the ITC in the absence of the PTC
  2. The investors without tax liability can use the whole cash grant of 30% instead of using the ITC. This is in the case where the investors cannot use the entire grant given.
  3. The community investors are allowed to get the double or multiple subsidies funding.

The ITC is considered to be the best option for the community wind projects. It provides help at the critical time: when many funds are needed for the initial cost of installation.

References

Friedman, M.,Weese,P. (1991).Directory of incentives for business investment and development in the United States: a state-by-state guide. New York: The Urban Institute. pp. 102-118.

Gipe,P. (2009).Wind energy basics: a guide to home- and community-scale wind energy systems. London: Chelsea Green Publishing.pp.206-218.

Igals, D. (2005). Small Wind.Chicago: Melrose Books. Pp. 96-112.

James, J., Petersen, L. (1999). The 1999 European Wind Energy Conference: wind energy for the next millennium: proceedings of the European Wind Energy Conference. Nice: Earth scan.pp.180-246.

Khennas,S.,Dunnett, S., Piggott, H. (2003).Small wind systems for rural energy services. New York: University of Michigan.pp.112-220.

Tong, W. (2010). Wind Power Generation and Wind Turbine Design.Beijing: WIT Press.pp.8-36.

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