GE Co-Invests $10 Million In Household Wind Power

Instead of waiting (and paying) for giant solar farms and mega-scale transmission lines to be built, you could start generating your own clean energy tomorrow, for 60% below retail prices! Small-scale privately owned renewable energy solutions are becoming increasingly popular as an approach to fighting global warming and building energy independence. (Efficiency guru Amory Lovins is one fan.) Now household wind could become more of a household name thanks to a $10 million investment by GE with other investors in the world’s largest manufacturer of small wind turbines, Southwest Windpower.

Skystream2 Southwest's Skystream, shown here, can provide anywhere from 40% to as much as 90% of a home’s electricity; other models provide up to 3KW for commercial use. This technology is available to homeowners today with a 4 to 5 year average payback (depending on how good your site is for wind and how high your current bills are). Obama's stimulus package just introduced a 30% tax credit to help seal the deal. 

Skystream3

GE spokesperson Kevin Skillern sees big potential for small wind: "The market is currently just $100 million in total sales, but has been growing 40 to 50% a year for a handful of years. What we see is really a transition point where the combination of stimulus programs and technology advancements make this a highly economic purchase for nearly half of the U.S. population." 

This is a strategic investment for GE—Skillern says a dozen different collaborations are being considered with different parts of the company. For example, the smart grid technologies they are developing help small-scale renewables connect to the grid. And GE, of course, long ago mastered the appliance business—maybe they can help make home power generation as easy as they make it to plug in a washer-dryer. 

 

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2 Comments

  • JoeAnne JoeAnne

    This is a good idea to be honest. We gotta save the planet as much as possible and use the other resources as well. The wind will never end so if we can create energy with it, that`s what we should do. Me and my mates from Escondido landscaping, we're already developing such a project.

  • David Arthur

    Getting a major player such as GE involved in small scale wind has the potential to drive prices to within reach of more homeowners. Still to be dealt with though, are local zoning laws against such structures and the fact that the vast majority of areas get inadequate wind to make small turbines viable. For most people solar will probably remain a better alternative for home installation. Hopefully new technologies such as thin film solar, economies of scale, and incentive programs will make solar truly practical for the middle class. Dave Arthur www.GreenBusinessOwner.com