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Small Scale Renewables

Created 3/29/2011 by Dan Villalobos
Updated 6/7/2011 by Dan Villalobos
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I often field calls from consumers asking about the economics and benefits of installing small scale wind or solar systems and tying them to our grid. A site I find most useful in our discussions and to which I always refer them is solar-estimate.org. I think it gives them a pretty good idea of what they can expect and our conversations quickly turn to finding ways to help them conserve energy in their home as a first step in reducing their carbon footprint.
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Comments (4)
Libby Calnon on 04/01/11 on 03:25 PM (Pacific Time)
Great link! Thanks for posting it. We're going to add it to our website.
Tom Osborn on 04/08/11 on 12:58 PM (Pacific Time)
On a few of my projects, I have used PVWatts from NREL. http://www.nrel.gov/rredc/pvwatts/version2.html
Rob Currier on 04/11/11 on 09:35 AM (Pacific Time)
I'd not seen this solar-estimate site before. Thanks, Dan. I may use it as a resource for an upcoming re-evaluation of our solar electric incentive program. I am a little nervous about the estimates it gives for our local wind resource in Lane County. Our message has always been that it's an overall poor resource, but there may be pockets of higher than average wind speeds where an installation may be worthwhile. Either way, a detailed long-term site analysis would be the best way to evaluate the resource. Solar is much easier to make broad generalizations about the local resource. Thanks!
Paul Birkeland on 05/10/11 on 07:20 PM (Pacific Time)
And don't forget 3Tier (http://www.3tier.com/en/). Free registration gets you free access to their top level "prospecting" tools. (They make their money providing detailed resource models and support to commercial project developers.) I registered two years ago and have received maybe one e-mail from them. But this is a nice resource for top-level feasibility assessments.

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