A couple weeks ago, your guide wrote about an entrepreneur who was importing more affordable wind turbines from China after seeing an article in the Chicago Tribune on the business owner and his new wind turbine on his north-suburban home.
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I followed up with the Trib reporter who put me in touch with one of the owners of Wind Free Design (www.windfree.us), Vince Kamin. Vince and Dough Snower came out to Wellington Park to introduce me to the products and systems their company can design for residential applications.
As an example, Doug roughly sketched out a system that would zero out my electric bill at my house. The system he designed included a mix of solar panels and wind turbines. And gave me a rough estimate for cost. The system included:
- 14 solar panels, 3’ x 5’, each producing 200 watts = 2800 watts
- 2 wind turbines, each producing 300 watts = 600 watts
- 3,400 watts at peak performance
This should be enough to wipe out my electric bill most months.
Doug advised that I wouldn’t want to buy any more capacity. As you exceed the amount of electricity you need, you sell the excess back to ComEd. But at such a reduced rate as to make the process pointless.
Doug also advised that I could save a bunch of money and simply hook the system to my normal electrical panel, and use the electrical grid as storage. Letting excess electricity exit the system, and drawing in electricity when the house needs it. On a monthly basis, this should keep my usage pretty even.
The cost estimate for installation of the system runs about $10 per watt installed. So: 3,400 watts x $10 = $34,000.
The state of Illinois also rebates 30% of the cost. And the Federal Government also rebates 30% of the installation. But you have to get your application submitted when the program has funding. It runs out, sometimes.
So: $34,000 less 60% – $10,200 after all government subsidies. That’s the best price I have seen so far for a system such as this.
Also, If you can get your neighbors to do an installation at the same time, Doug is offering a 10% discount for each additional person you add – to a max of 30% off, or as low as $8 per watt installed.
If you want to learn more about these technologies and their applications in a residential installation, Doug and Vince have a store open at 6121 Washington Street in Gurnee. And are hoping to have a Chicago store open in early September at 1440 North Ashland.
Another cool alternative that Doug suggested was for our Townhome Home Owner’s Association to power all the common lighting throughout Wellington Park with two wind turbines plus 6 solar panels. This 1,800 watt system could easily power all the common lights throughout the community. The purchase price of $18,000 could be reduced to $6,000, and pretty well eliminate the electricity bills for the HOA.
Stay tuned for updates as Your Guide intends to visit the opening of the new store. And for developments if I’m able to convince our Association that ordering up a system like this would benefit the community and the residents.