New residential wind generator puts renewable energy production in customer’s backyard

Flagstaff, AZ, June 27, 2006 — A new small residential wind generator from Southwest Windpower will give homeowners a new weapon in the fight against rising electricity costs. Skystream 3.7 is a fully integrated wind generator designed specifically for the grid-connected residential market.

A combination of new technologies, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), resulted in a product that produces electricity for a fraction of the cost of current technologies, said Southwest Windpower. The company says the product is appropriate for installation in many residential areas around the country.

The Skystream 3.7 has no batteries and connects directly to the home to supply power. When the wind is not blowing, the home is powered by the electric utility. Depending on the local utility, excess electricity can be sold back to the utility or used at a later date.

With a typical cost of $8,000 to $10,000 to purchase and install, Southwest Windpower said the Skystream 3.7 can pay for itself in 5 to 12 years. This payback period will vary and can be much quicker in states with investment rebates, the company said. In states like Hawaii, said the company, where the cost of energy and wind speeds are both high, Skystream 3.7 could pay for itself in less than 4 years.

“This new technology is an important step forward for small wind,” said Robert Thresher, director of NREL’s National Wind Technology Center. “As technology becomes more efficient at harnessing energy at low wind speeds, small-scale users will become more and more able to take advantage of wind power.”

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