Micro urban systems and kits for recreational vehicles will cost you some few hundred dollars, but the prices of small wind turbines can go up to dozens of thousands of dollars.
Small wind Power system prices
Expect prices between $20,000 and $70,000 for small tower-mounted wind turbines, depending on the size and factors such as the rotor diameter, inverters and installation.
Be cautious with low-priced systems. There are now inexpensive products, but many of them are of very low quality.
100-kW turbine systems: $350,000 or more.
Micro wind off-grid systems and sailboat and other recreational wind power systems: very variable, according to their type and size.
Sailboat wind power systems: variable; mostly in the range of $1.000-$2,000.
Small wind power systems: variable with the output; reliable units will cost you $20.000-$70.000..
Prices include the turbine, the tower, electronic controllers and installation.
Special anti-corrosion paintings and other extra options are billed separately.
Stand-alone systems, with backup kits, will cost you 20 to 30% more.
Payback of small wind projects
Even the best small wind electric systems will never be cost-competitive in areas with low wind speeds.
You need to locate the wind turbine in order to benefit from regular and favorable winds (averaging at least 12-13 miles per hour/6 meters per second). The payback will depend mostly on it.
Also do not forget that residential wind-turbine systems only become advantageous after the implementation of energy conservation measures. The home's electricity bills must be drastically reduced through very insulation and sealing, and energy efficient windows, appliances and lighting. Only then the wind-turbine system will make sense. Otherwise you'll need a too large and expensive system.
Small wind Power systems maintenance costs
Small wind-turbine systems have low maintenance costs. Maintenance includes periodic checking of bolts and electrical connections; after the 10th year of service, blades should be checked for signs of wear. Be aware to signs of corrosion.
Bearings and blades can last 20 -30 years with proper installation and maintenance.
State incentives to small wind turbine systems.
For state incentives in the USA, see DSIRE (State Initiatives for Renewable Energy database). It includes state, local, utility and federal financial incentives to wind and other renewables.
UK, Canada and Australia
Financial Incentives and information:
- United Kingdom: Renewables Obligation
- Canada: Canadian Wind Energy Association
- Australia, wind powered systems: Department of Climate Change.