Leno And Bush Invest In Wind Turbines

Jay Leno and George H. W. Bush are two individuals who have recently installed residential wind turbines on their property. A residential wind turbine can lower your electricity bill by 50 to 90 percent, and pay off the initial investment in six to 15 years, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) . Bush installed a 33-foot tall Skystream 3.7 at his at his Kennebunkport, Maine home. Jay Leno installed a Delta II by PacWind on his garage (link to video).

The Skystream 3.7 is produced by Southwest Wind Power, which has sold about 2,000 wind turbines nationwide. Prices start at about $12,000 for the device, which uses magnetic technology to produce energy even at low wind speeds. According to the Portland (Maine) Press Herald, it can produce 400 kilowatts per month with 12 mph winds. It was designed to work in residential neighborhoods and has noise isolators to minimize noise. You can also choose the remote monitoring option that allows you to monitor the output of your device from your home. As with solar energy, there is the potential to sell excess electricity back to the utility company during periods of good wind availability. Of course, location is an important factor when choosing wind, so if you live in high wind area--such as the Pacific Northwest--a wind turbine can be a solid investment. Even if you don’t live where there is a lot of wind, there are some turbines that can produce energy at winds as low as 3 miles per hour because of their high-powered magnets.

While the AWEA claims that a typical residential wind system makes less noise than an average washing machine, and even though they are only as tall as an average tree, one drawback is dealing with unhappy neighbors and homeowners' associations. Some cities have ordinances that ban residential turbines over a certain height. And while installation of a residential wind turbine can possibly increase the value of your home, it may hurt the value of the surrounding properties. Despite the pollution-free energy, there have been several situations where citizens have opposed commercial wind turbines because they don’t want to look at them. Despite the potential complaints, as technology improves to produce smaller and cheaper units and the energy situation worsens, it is likely that more and more individuals will follow the example set by Leno and Bush and look to buy their own backyard wind turbine.

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