Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 2.37.51 PMTax Incentives

As part of the federal stimulus package, a new 30% federal tax credit has been established for small wind systems.

Some details:

The previous small wind tax credit from 2007 was capped at $4000, or $1000 per kW of rated capacity, whichever was less. The new credit eliminates the cap and is not tied to rated capacity in any way. That means that if the turn–key cost of a Bergey Excel is $60,000, you will be able to claim a $20,000 credit against their federal tax liability. This is not a “deduction” that reduces the taxable income of a given taxpayer; it is a “credit” that reduces the actual taxes owed. If the client has insufficient tax liability to “consume” the credit during the year that the machine is installed, the excess credit can be carried over to the following year.

If you are in a state that provides incentives for small wind, the credit is applied to the “out of pocket” expenses incurred by the end user. For example: If the turn–key cost of a Bergey Excel is $60,000 in your area and your state provides a rebate/grant of $25,000, your client can claim 30% of the remaining $35,000 as a tax credit.

In order to qualify for the credit, the client should use IRS form 5695.

Do I have a good site for wind power?

Wind–powered battery–charging systems can be cost–effective if the average wind speed is nine miles per hour or more at the location of the wind generator. If you are using wind in combination with photovoltaic power, it may be cost–effective if good wind is available only during part of the year. When the wind speed doubles, the power delivered is eight times as great. Most wind generators are designed to deliver maximum power at a wind speed of 30 mph. At 15 mph, they will deliver about 1/8 their rated power. A wind generator should be mounted at least 20 feet higher than any obstruction within 300 feet to avoid turbulence.

The site makes all the difference, if you have wind speeds that average around 12 mph annually wind may be the right choice for you.


Grid Tied Wind

In recent years, new wind generators have come on the markets that are specifically for grid tied applications. This beats the old wind generators which had to pass their current through a battery bank before they could be connected to the grid. Now some wind generators have inverters built internally making for an economic and simple solution.

We sell and install Southwest Windpower and Bergey Wind Generators. Southwest Windpower has a unit called Skystream 3.7 wind generator with a rated output of 1.8 KW at 21 MPH. It’s rated to produce about 400 KWH a month in a 12 MPH average wind speed. The installation cost for such a system on a 40 Ft. tower runs around $12,000 to $14,000.

Off–Grid Wind

It makes quite a bit of sense to install a wind generator in conjunction with a solar electric system for the stand alone home owner. We find that the wind seems to blow when the sun isn’t shining, and this is especially true in the winter. A well-designed system and the right location means power should never be a problem.

For the cabin/homeowner, the Bergey XL1 makes a great choice. This unit provides for 1 KW of production at 24 MPH, and is extremely well built. They are designed to charge battery banks of 24 Volts.