Geothermal heating and cooling? Hidden beneath your feet. Rooftop solar array? Placed out of sight. A utility-scale wind
turbine? Visible from miles away.
Learn about the breezy benefits of this renewable
Spinning with Success
You don’t need gale-force winds to invest in a turbine. This form of renewable energy is
breezing its way onto schools, hotels, office parks, and college campuses. As long as you have
available land and an eye for a long-range payback, wind can help you secure clean energy in
your own backyard.
Imagine long white blades stretched across a blue sky and gracefully rotating in the wind.
It paints a pretty picture, but turbines aren’t for architectural interest. These renewable en-
ergy generators can significantly offset the amount of electricity your facility normally draws
from the grid.
“There’s no silver bullet for renewable power – we can’t meet all of our energy goals with
one technology. You have to use what’s most appropriate and feasible for the particular
resource of your location, and wind can deliver for many regions,” explains Trevor Atkinson,
sales and business development manager for Northern Power Systems, a turbine manufacturer.
Whether adding a wind turbine to an existing property or a new development, you need to
extensively research your options before committing to an installation. To ensure a success-
ful project, do your homework using these six factors:
1) Understand Your Goals
Before you even consider wind, take care of efficiency projects first. There’s no sense in
adding renewable generation if it will only lull you into wasting power elsewhere in your
“You need to understand your load and how you can improve it,” Atkinson stresses. “If
you’re generating your own power, you don’t want to be throwing away your green energy on
incandescent lighting and leaky windows.”
Once you get your energy usage as lean as possible, determine what goals you want a wind
turbine to satisfy.
“Do you want to be 100% powered by renewable energy or just 10%? Do you want to create
a microgrid so you reduce power quality issues? Do you want to earn LEED credits? Do you
simply want to put up a green flagpole to announce your company is sustainable?” Atkinson