Save money! Conduct a do-it yourself home energy audit: http://diyenergy.colostate.edu/
Learn even more about energy use in your house by checking out a HEAL kit:
- Home Energy Audit Loan (HEAL) Program – borrow a Kill-a-watt power monitor and thermal leak detector for free from our office to detect electricity waste and air leaks. Learn more.
- Teacher Energy Training – we can provide training on our standards-based, hands-on Clean Energy Curriculum for Colorado Middle and High Schools that is tailored to your needs.
- Request an Energy Workshop or Presentation – we can put together workshops or presentations on our DIY Energy Assessment tools, energy efficiency, solar, or wind energy for consumers and agricultural producers.
- Online Resources – the energy homepage provides a variety of online fact sheets, videos, decision tools, webinars, and more.
Wind energy in Gilpin County
Sometimes it seems like the wind is always blowing in Gilpin County. But does that mean that the wind is of the right sort to produce good electricity?
How to read/understand the production data and put the production into perspective:
When you look at the production data, you'll see this:
The daily energy tells you how many kilowatt hours the turbine has produced on any given day. (A kilowatt hour is the unit you get charged for on your electric bill --current costs are about ten cents per kwh).
Total Energy =Total electricity production so far. You can see that it hasn't produced a lot of energy. (To put it in perspective, a typical household uses between 6-10,000 kwh per year.)
For comparison, you can look at other turbines in other areas (at the top of the production page, there are a bunch of names of other turbines in different locations). The Skystream 3.7 is capable of producing up to 6,000kwh per year in a really good wind location, with 3-4,000 being more typical. You can also chart monthly and yearly production using the chart available on the right.
The low production of our wind turbine is a factor of three things – 1) 2010 had less wind than usual, 2) our winds are gusty, not steady, and are very seasonal and 3) the mountains create a lot of turbulence (which reduces the power). The tower potentially could be higher, too, but the turbulence would still be a factor.
We are coming to learn that the only potential places where wind would probably be economically viable in this county would be on a ridge top, since the winds are steadier and less turbulent on ridges.
Even though this demonstration project is showing that wind may not the most cost-effective renewable energy resource for this area, the purpose of the project was to not only generate some renewable electricity but to also give people who might be interested in this technology a chance to see the electric production at a specific site and to be able to have hands-on access to the generator. People have the opportunity to actually see the generator in operation, determine the noise and durability of these units and to monitor in real-time the electric production of the unit.