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I am very glad that Nebraska is finally catching up on the wind farm trend.  For a long time our laws and incentives lagged far behind other states.  We have a great deal of wind (we used to claim this was because "Wyoming BLOWS and Iowa SUCKS"... :P) but it has long been sidelined.

 

The fact that we are 100% public power (only state) hasn't helped.  Most private power companies can take tax breaks for installing and using "green power" of some sorts..., but for a public power company that doesn't pay taxes, there is no incentive...

 

There is one large wind farm up in north central NE near Ainsworth (e85 blender pump as well ;))  and an even larger one just under construction south of there near Albion (also with e85 ;))... both of these are private companies that are selling the power into the grid, mostly out of state...  don't know that much about the industry.

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Another Big Wind Farm just as you enter Iowa from Minnesota on I-35...  always a impressive site ..

 

Wind generating electricity above and corn generating fuel below..

 

I just placed 400 watts of Solar Panels on my roof (2 panels) generating over 20% of our homes electric needs now..

 

E85 in our vehicles, Solar for our electricy...  I'd add a wind turbine as well on the roof if our City allowed it..

 

Solar prices have dropped like a rock the past few years.. I paid $1.82 a watt !  Pay off is about 3 1/2 years on these panels/setup.... if I never do any more after 3/1/2 years 20% of are electricity is essentially free for at least the next 15-20 years

 

 

I would consider ethanol used in a generator a some backup..but powering my home or  a City with ethanol? no..makes no sense at all unless you are a ethanol producer or corn farmer ..then it makes all kinds of sense  ;D

 

 

Ethanol in my Car ..Solar for my home electricity..

 

 

 

 

I am very glad that Nebraska is finally catching up on the wind farm trend.  For a long time our laws and incentives lagged far behind other states.  We have a great deal of wind (we used to claim this was because "Wyoming BLOWS and Iowa SUCKS"... :P) but it has long been sidelined.

 

The fact that we are 100% public power (only state) hasn't helped.  Most private power companies can take tax breaks for installing and using "green power" of some sorts..., but for a public power company that doesn't pay taxes, there is no incentive...

 

There is one large wind farm up in north central NE near Ainsworth (e85 blender pump as well ;))  and an even larger one just under construction south of there near Albion... both of these are private companies that are selling the power into the grid, mostly out of state...  don't know that much about the industry.

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I've been curious about home electrical generation...

 

One problem I see is that with my goofy suburban street, the house does not sit "square with the world" (to use a farmer phrase my dad used frequently), so there is no true southern exposure roof, or is this not an issue?

 

The street is "almost east west", but runs more ENE, to WSW... which means no side of the house is full sun, nor full shade for all of the day, which makes for nice landscaping conditions.... ;D

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I've been curious about home electrical generation...

 

One problem I see is that with my goofy suburban street, the house does not sit "square with the world" (to use a farmer phrase my dad used frequently), so there is no true southern exposure roof, or is this not an issue?

 

The street is "almost east west", but runs more ENE, to WSW... which means no side of the house is full sun, nor full shade for all of the day, which makes for nice landscaping conditions.... ;D

 

You still generate electricty..just at a lower rate..

 

We aren't true south either.. But I get 3-4 hours of direct sunlight putting out upto 28 amps during that time..(for those 2 panels)..more panels more amps ) more around 80-90 amp hours during that time..+ the other 6 hours or so of 1 amp up-to 15 amps ..

 

Run the Living room lights , 42Inch Tv , DVD Player..charge Latop etc..pretty much all the stuff we use during the evening

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Wind and Solar are the best 2 options for stability in the Grid..hands down the best.. there is no other option that is as safe and environmentally "acceptable"..  Nuclear is great for long term cheap power..but the security risks are enormous..

 

Geothermal.

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I agree with mus302- home based geothermal is currently hands down the best in the upper Midwest (Geothermal of the soil/groundwater type) --if you are building new or have an open area to lay or drill the pipe. This system can also then be be propelled by solar/wind for water circ or compression/cooling. I am mainly referring to heat/cool functions though whereas Dan is thinking electrical. If building new passive solar/mild active solar via glass is also pretty decent if done wisely. Combine pieces of all and the purchased energy usage in a home could be very small. I think it boils down to what do you have for site, building codes, existing or new construction, budget, and personal goals. My home is a bigger energy hog than my road usage when I do not use wood for heating. Of course I also house 2 kids, wife, and an 87 year old mother-in-law. I would have to cut down my 2 acres of trees and plaster the area with solar panels to provide all the lighting and heat that particularly the later one uses (if you have not been there before- you just about have the temp set for 1 degree per year =87 in the winter and it is only the last two years that she has accepted a FEW CFL's. Every light burning, big screen TV blaring 18 hours, AC running with door open, etc.  ;D )

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a "bit off topic", but actually ethanol related...

 

I always wondered why you don't see wind turbines (not the massive ones you see going down I80 in HUGE parts....) at the site of ethanol plants, solar panels on the roofs of the buildings and facilities?

 

Would be good PR, a "green washing" so to speak.  Highlight how much electricity the plant generates for it's own use, sparing the local polluting grid, even if only a bit.

 

Same could be said for every "big box store" and strip mall... plop a bunch of solar panels on them, and park a few wind turbines in every parking lot... let the buildings generate some of their own power.

 

Simply spreading out the generation of power across the grid would have to help.

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a "bit off topic", but actually ethanol related...

 

I always wondered why you don't see wind turbines (not the massive ones you see going down I80 in HUGE parts....) at the site of ethanol plants, solar panels on the roofs of the buildings and facilities?

 

Would be good PR, a "green washing" so to speak.  Highlight how much electricity the plant generates for it's own use, sparing the local polluting grid, even if only a bit.

 

Same could be said for every "big box store" and strip mall... plop a bunch of solar panels on them, and park a few wind turbines in every parking lot... let the buildings generate some of their own power.

 

Simply spreading out the generation of power across the grid would have to help.

 

At least one early built ethanol plant in Minnesota has 2 wind towers and a biomass boiler. Problem is this still cannot compete with grid power- you can only afford these in a narrow margin business when someone else helps pay.

 

We looked at both small wind and solar assist for our stations also- same problem- our payout was years and capital limited. Though the idea is very nice- I would rather put capital to work building new E85 sites. We can always come back later and add the "green stuff" when there is "green" in it. I did move to LED canopy lighting in the 4 newest sites which uses 1/4 the power and has a 3-4 year payback. Believe this or not- one un-named city's lighting codes did not allow me to put in LED lighting or I would have 5 already- problem is the way the light spreads less with LED and so I would have had to have an extra 5 perimeter lights at minimum to meet their high lumen requirements. An LED looks as bright and has better color, yet the light measurement systems do not pick this up well.

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Where on earth did you find 200 watt panels at $1.82 a watt?

 

I'm looking at about a 3 to 4K system, and the panels are priced around $2.80 a watt. 

 

Show me $1.82 a watt for a UL listed 200 wat panel- please!!

 

James these are NON Ul listed..for my project it didn't matter as I wasn't trying to get any rebates..

 

http://sunelec.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=60

 

You cna get UL Listed starting at around $2.28 a watt

 

http://sunelec.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=5&zenid=f56d704ff0d7335d8a68d69fd43a4cef

 

[glow=red,2,300]Check it out James..[/glow] http://sunelec.com/Specs/SUNTECH/STP260-24Vb%20-1.pdf

 

25 Year warranty on them

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Wind and Solar are the best 2 options for stability in the Grid..hands down the best.. there is no other option that is as safe and environmentally "acceptable"..  Nuclear is great for long term cheap power..but the security risks are enormous..

 

Geothermal.

 

Agreed..we actually tried to have geothermal set up a  couple years ago but the "drillers" came out and found rock bed at 70 feet which would have meant drilling twice as many holes ..which made it no longer feasible financially for us..

 

residential with maybe 60 ft wide lot..so just not much room..had to go vertical

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