Wind Power Projects

Wind Grant System Installation Complete

Pine Ridge Wind Turbine

The National Center for Appropriate Technology has completed the first wind turbine installation under a residential wind grant program funded by Montana Power Company's universal systems benefits charge.

The machine is a 10kW Bergey on a 60-foot guyed tower. The tower, turbine, and rotor blades were assembled on the ground and then lifted into place by a crane. For a more complete overview and more photos, please visit Pine Ridge Products.

Only wind machines 10 kilowatts and smaller were eligible for funding under the program, which aims to install 40 kilowatts of wind electrical generation.

An incentive of $1.25 per watt of the manufacturer's capacity rating will be paid to the owners. An owner installing a 10-kilowatt system, for example, will receive $12,500, which will cover about a third of the total installed cost of the system.

All of the wind systems are utility-intertied, which means the electricity they produce can be fed into the utility grid - in effect running the meter backward. The owner may also choose to install batteries and controllers to provide an uninterrupted power supply.

In addition to the work shown in the photos below, arrangements were made for an inspection from the appropriate electrical authority. The owner signed a net metering agreement with Montana Power Company, and the utility installed a new meter.

Excavation for the anchors and tower base is complete. The inverter and electrical meter are in the barn at right.

The completed tower is ready to be hoisted. All bolts must be tightened to manufacturer's recommendations for torque. Note (lower left) the concrete pad and bolt anchors for the tower base.

The Excel turbine, which weighs about 1,000 pounds, is bolted to the tower top.

Clinging to the tower, a member of the installation crew checks the top guy station for proper tension. All guy stations and anchors must be tensioned and checked before crane is unhooked.

Though the installation looks complete, note that the tail remains furled until the crew finishes all its tasks.

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