Domestic wind energy

A new small residential wind generator dubbed the Skystream 3.7 from Southwest Windpower will give US homeowners a new weapon in the fight against rising electricity costs. Skystream 3.7 is said to be the first fully integrated wind generator designed specifically for the grid-connected residential market.

A combination of new technologies, developed in collaboration with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, resulted in a product that quietly produces electricity for a fraction of the cost of current technologies.

Skystream’s low cost and low profile provides homeowners an affordable energy supplement that’s appropriate for installation in many residential areas around the country.

With no batteries, Skystream 3.7 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.

‘Skystream will change the way many Americans power their homes and take control of their energy costs,’ said Andrew Kruse, co-founder of Southwest Windpower. ‘Wind energy for the individual homeowner is finally main-stream.’

With a typical cost of $8,000 to $10,000 to purchase and install, 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. It’s anticipated that Skystream 3.7 will save the average homeowner $500 to $800 per year, based on 4,800 to 6,600 kWh produced per year and a $0.12/kWh cost of electricity.

This output would provide 40 to 90 percent of an average home’s energy needs. In states like Hawaii, where the cost of energy and wind speeds are both high, Skystream 3.7 can pay for itself in less than four years.