I’d like to get off the grid by installing a windmill to produce electricity. Do you have any recommendations? -Andrea
There have been a lot of exciting innovations in recent years in both solar and wind power to generate electricity for your home. Unfortunately, most of the solar options are still too expensive at present to justify going totally off the grid, so I think you’re choice for wind power is a good one, though wind turbines are pretty costly, too.
Windmills have the advantage of being active both night and day, as long as the wind blows, so make sure you live in an area that has consistent winds before considering installing one. For a personal take on what it’s like to live off the power grid using a wind turbine and solar panels, check out our article on Living Off the Grid.
The wind generator I’ve seen that I like the best is the WindTronics wind turbine from Honeywell. I’ve seen this one in action, and it’s truly impressive. What really sets the WindTronics wind turbine apart is that it has a start up speed as low as 1/2-mile-per-hour. The WindTronics wind turbine costs close to $6,500 and will generate up to 1,500 kWh per year.
Also, make sure you take advantage of the energy efficiency tax credits for homeowners, which can provide a 30% federal income tax credit if you install an approved wind or solar power system before 2017.
Good luck with your project,
- WindTronics Wind Turbine for Your Home (video)
- Living Off the Grid: How to Generate Your Own Electricity (article)
- U.S. Wind Resources Map (Wind Energy Development)
- U.S. State Wind Maps (U.S. Dept. of Energy)