The first wind turbine erected under a green pricing programme in the US has been so popular that more wind may be installed by the small public utility district which owns the unit. The country's first Vestas V44 was installed on the shores of Lake Michigan for Traverse City Power and Light in late May and since then fan mail has been pouring in. On June 20, about 100 customers attended a dedication ceremony. And on July 13, the respected New York Times, which has a national circulation, ran a one-third page article and photo about the project. Steve Smiley, the community's energy consultant, notes that not one user out of the 250 signed up has dropped out of the programme since it started in the early summer. The waiting list has also stood at about 80 ever since customers were first solicited. Each customer pays an extra $0.0158 per kWh for electricity from the turbine. Smiley says the utility is now considering expanding the programme by offering its customers, both residential and commercial, a chance again to sign up for three or ten years respectively. And since power from the Vestas is already all accounted for, that would mean more wind turbines. "We've had nothing but favourable reaction," he says.
Windpower Monthly Events
Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol