Gigantic plants feeding vast amounts of energy into the grid get most of the the wind-power headlines. But in New York, the state is putting money behind the hope that a lot of little installations can add up to a meaningful source of renewable energy.
The state’s Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) said in a press release that under a program begun on October 1, it would hand out $16.6 million over the next five years to encourage the installation of small-scale wind turbines. This represents a substantial increase over the $1.8 million the agency has provided since 2008.
The new program pays up to 30 percent of the purchase and installation costs for systems up to 600 kilowatts per site, maxing out at $400,000 per turbine, which isn’t a problem since most turbine systems range in price from $60,000 to $300,000. The agency said that while the electricity generated from the small systems will mostly be used by the individual customer, unused electricity could be fed back into the grid.
The agency has a web tool – “Small windExplorer” – that people can use to roughly determine if their home, development or farm is an economically feasible spot for producing power from the wind.
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