While most forms of alternative energy have a general benchmark when it comes to the cost, wind turbines are quite different. The cost of wind turbines differs according to the manufacturer that you’re purchasing it from.
However, before you even consider the cost of wind turbines, you have to figure out if wind energy is right for you in the first place.
The most favourable sites for wind energy generation usually have the following characteristics:
- They have wind that travels at a speed of 5 meters per second. The best way to determine an area’s average wind speed is to measure it with an anemometer.
- The site on which you plan to install the wind turbines shouldn’t have any obstructions that will stop the wind from reaching the turbine. Ideally, wind turbines should be free from obstructions like trees and other structures.
- Check-in with your local county office to find out if there are any building restrictions that may affect your ability to install a wind turbine on your property.
- Decide between a free-standing wind turbine or a roof-mounted model that will require foundation digging space.
- Find out whether or not the installation of wind turbines in your state or county requires planning permission.
Most people tend to opt for free-standing wind turbines because they offer more power. On the flip side, free-standing turbines are a bit more expensive.
Roof-Mounted Wind Turbines
Sometimes the best place to mount a wind turbine is on the roof. This option is great for anyone that gets a lot of high altitude wind.
Roof-mounted wind turbines offer 0.5 kW to 2.5 kW of power and are mostly used to support a household’s existing energy mix. They’re almost never used as a self-supporting energy alternative.
On average, roof-mounted wind turbines have an upfront cost of $3,000, which is quite accessible to most people. However, this cost doesn’t include maintenance expenses.
Free-Standing Wind Turbines
Although free-standing turbines are expensive, they’re more effective at generating power than roof-mounted models. On average, you can expect to cough up about $8,000 for a 1.5 kW turbine but the returns are quite good. A unit of this size typically yields about 2,600 kW of energy per year.
Alternatively, you can go all out and invest in a wind turbine array with a 15 kW energy production capacity. These usually cost about $100,000 and yield around 36,000 kW worth of energy annually.
Most wind turbines come with long warranty periods because they’re built to last. In fact, the average wind turbine can last you for over two decades, especially if you look after it properly.
However, you may have to replace a few of the turbine’s internal components that have a shorter lifespan, such as the inverter and batteries. This is in addition to the other maintenance costs that often come with installing a wind turbine.
ROI for Wind Turbines
Choosing to power your household with alternative energy sources will not only save you a ton of money in electricity costs, but it also comes with the opportunity to earn through the excess power that you generate.
One of the important factors is the cost of wind turbines. Utility companies are always looking for excess electricity to purchase from households, businesses and organizations that use alternative energy sources like wind turbines.
However, the amount of electricity that you generate will largely depend on the weather conditions of the area in which you live. Connectivity issues in rural areas are another barrier that often prevents homeowners from selling their excess electricity.
The good news is that the government is working on this problem as the demand for alternative energy continues to increase.