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    Average wind turbine cost


    Summary: How much does a wind turbine cost, average wind turbine installation costs and average wind turbine prices.



    Wind turbines have been popping up across the landscape for several years now. It began with those huge white windmills offshore and in remote locations. Only they are not windmills of course. A wind turbine has sails like a windmill but uses the wind-powered movement to generate electricity rather than to grind corn.

    What could be better? They make cheap, sustainable energy without pollution. Once they are up the production costs are next to nothing. Not surprisingly then, small-scale wind turbines are becoming available for home use. The appeal is simple. Install one of these and energy bills become a thing of the past - or do they?


    Average cost

    Job

    Average cost

    Updated

    Quote

    1.5kW roof mounted wind turbine £2000 - £5000 2012 Get quote
    2.5kW - 6kW mast wind turbine £14000 - £25000 2012 Get quote

    Factors to consider

    Small-scale turbines come in two designs. The small roof-mounted variety is the cheaper option but generates less kick. The taller mast-mounted turbines can cost up to ten times more to install, but yield more amps. Indeed a mast-mounted turbine should be able to power your entire home.

    There are a few factors to ponder before making your purchase. You may need to invest even before you have started shopping for turbines. Obviously you are going to need a lot of wind. So buy and set up a wind meter on your proposed site for at least three months. This it to make sure there's enough year round wind to make it worthwhile. Secondly, are there any obstacles around the house, like a sizeable tree, that will need to come down? Turbines need clear access to the wind.

    There are a few legal issues. In particular, permanent wind turbines need planning permission from your local authority. For this there are going to be fees. Contact your local planning department for guidance. Under new laws they have a responsibility to encourage environmentally friendly technologies so expect a supportive response. Building control fees may also be necessary, so again check with your local authority. Also ask your home and building insurance whether you'll require special cover.


    Permanent wind turbines need planning permission from your local authority.


    Costs to consider

    As well as the price of the actual turbine there are add-on costs. Turbines usually require underground cabling to connect them to the National Grid. The length of cabling necessary will vary from home to home, but the more cabling the more expensive. There will also be a connection fee to the National Grid. Depending on the voltage these can be considerable. Consult your supplier.

    And who's going to actually install it? Most home-users feel safer putting a sophisticated job like this in the hands of a professional. Wind turbine engineers are accredited by the Micro generation Certification Scheme (MCS) and should show you these credentials. Having an accredited installer will smooth away many of those worries. The installer will advise on planning permission, connection fees, cabling costs and, most importantly of all, are you going to have enough wind to make it profitable.

    However, there are green enthusiasts around the country who have built and installed their own turbines. Some have gone onto write 'how to' guides and you would definitely be advised to study one of these before launching on your first turbine. Parts needed for a DIY turbine include a generator, blades, a charge controller, an inverter and a mast. If you have the know-how to put all these parts together it will certainly cost less than bringing in a professional with a readymade turbine. A trawl through the Internet will point you in the right direction. But you will still need planning permission, building control and connection fees.

    On the plus side wind turbines, being so simple, require very little maintenance as the years roll by. Indeed their parts are manufactured to last twenty years or more. Compared to gas boilers and electric heating you should make some savings there. The greatest saving, of course, will be in your energy bills. Although you have to make a considerable investment in the beginning, especially for mast-mounted turbines, you can then watch the savings grow and grow.

    Furthermore if you generate more electricity than you can use on the central heating and the DVD player, then you can actually make money. Assuming a properly accredited MCS engineer has set up your turbine, you can register for Feed-in Tariffs. This is where you sell your excess electricity back to the Nation's power supplies.

    In case you are wondering what happens when the weather gets stuck in the doldrums, wind turbines come with a battery that stores electricity. If the sails stop turning the back-up supply will take over.

    Although industrial sized wind farms are reputed to be noisy, small-scale turbines are much quieter. Nevertheless, long before you erect that mast, make sure your neighbours are on your side.

    The small roof-mounted variety is the cheaper option but generates less kick.

    Wind turbines, being so simple, require very little maintenance as the years roll by.




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