Wind power is created with 3-blade turbines, which spin electric generators. Typically, wind turbines are mounted on tall, 120 to 250-foot towers in order to access the best wind. Wind power installations can be expensive and tend to be best suited in high wind regions where the best possible production can be attained. For example, about 40% efficiency is possible in the Dakotas, but it tends to be under 20% within MVEC’s service area. Renewable interconnection requirements (pdf).
Solar power takes energy from the sun’s radiation and converts it into heat or electricity. There are a variety of solar options, including photovoltaic systems, which absorb energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. This clean and environmentally-safe, renewable energy source is readily available because there is no need to drill, mine or transport it. There are various systems available from flat roof to ground mount systems. Renewable interconnection requirements (pdf).
Do your homework
Talk to others who have a similar system. Be sure to conduct complete due diligence on the economic benefits, legal issues, zoning regulations, maintenance and operating costs. Get references on vendors before making a purchase. The State Board of Electricity requires renewable energy sources be installed by a qualified licensed electrician, and MVEC requires members to submit an application to connect to its electric lines. The installation must meet the State of Minnesota Distributed Generation Interconnection Standards.
Questions? For more information contact:
Jeff Langeberg, Design Engineer
(952) 492-2313 or (800) 282-6832