Just ten miles from Factor e Farm – 100 windmills of 2.1 megawatt capacity were installed over the last two years – with 100 more forthcoming. It’s quite a sight. I asked a couple of local farmers about them – and they told me that don’t like the new sights and slight noise. Apparently, people don’t like them here unless they are getting $3k per year in land lease fees if the windmill is on their land.
I love the sight. Each windmill is generating almost about $200 worth of energy per hour at full output if the energy is sold at 10 cents per kilowatt hour. On average, at 40% duty cycle, this translates to over $300k/year of electricity produced. It looks like a 7 year payback time, if each turbine costs $2M a pop.
I always think immediately what can be done right now at Factor e Farm. We actaully do have a favorable wind location at the northern end of the land. What to do? Stick this 50kW, 600 pound, $1300 generator on top of a 100 foot tall, $2000 mast and foundation supported by guy wires costing another $1000, use these blades at $50/meter for a total of $1250, another $1000 for mechanical components – and use open source power electronics of $1000 in cost to manage the juice – and your price ticket is $6550 for parts, or about 10 cents per watt of installed capacity if the turbine produces 50 kW. It costs the big guys about a dollar per installed watt. Sure looks good on paper.