Wind Electricity Prices

What is Wind Electricity?

Sails to propel boats or windmills to pump water are examples of using wind to create useful forms of energy that have been around for centuries.  More recent examples of wind energy conversion are the use of wind turbines to create renewable electricity.  Wind electricity is simply electricity created from wind power.  Wind power is the changing of wind energy into a useful form of energy for electricity.  Large wind farms connect to electrical power transmission networks while smaller facilities can be used to service more rural locations.  A wind turbine’s rotating blades convert the wind’s kinetic energy into a rotational momentum in the shaft of the turbine.  As the shaft rotates it turns an alternator which ultimately produces wind electricity.

A consumer’s initial reaction might be to wonder what happens when the wind doesn’t blow.  In reality, intermittency of the wind has little effect on wind electricity production today since it only makes up a small portion of the market.  Power management techniques are already in place to respond to these problems once primary dependence on wind electricity becomes more widespread.

Why Should I Get Wind Electricity?

The reasons to get renewable electricity, specifically wind electricity, far outweigh the reasons not to.  Wind electricity is a cleaner, greener alternative to traditional electricity production.   In addition to reducing their carbon footprint through utilization of green electricity, consumers choose wind electricity to save money and gain more control over their utility bill.  An increasing number of utility companies throughout the U.S. are buying back surplus electricity produced by small domestic turbines from customers, laying out yet another incentive for consumers to investigate wind electricity prices and make the switch.

Wind Electricity Prices

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, wind energy generation is up 87.8 percent in 2011 compared to 2010.  Just like solar electricity prices, wind electricity prices vary because of equipment and ownership.  Wind electricity prices vary from state to state in regards to location and state-specific tax incentives.  In some states, land is “rented” by electric providers in order to put up wind turbines in that area with rent payments ranging from $1,500 per MW of capacity to approximately $10,000 per MW of capacity.  Some payments vary with the amount of electricity produced while some are fixed price.

Generous federal and state income tax breaks make owning a wind farm appealing to some consumers.  Keep in mind the turbines on most wind turbines in the U.S. are 80 meters high with the rotor assembly alone weighing 48,000 pounds.  Smaller turbines are of course less costly and can be as small as a 50-watt generator.  The majority commercial-scale turbines installed in this day and age are 2 MW in size and can cost approximately $3.5 Million to be installed. As previously mentioned, smaller turbines used in residential areas cost less overall, but are more expensive per kilowatt of energy producing capacity. Wind turbines under 100 kilowatts cost approximately $3,000 to $5,000 per kilowatt of capacity. The cost of a wind turbine sized to power the average home is approximately $35,000-$50,000.  Type your zip code into the field at the top of the page to find wind and other renewable electricity options in your area.

Sources:

http://www.windustry.org/how-much-do-wind-turbines-cost

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/epm_sum.html