When collecting signatures for our petition on renewable energy, we made an interesting discovery. One of our neighbours is associated with a company that specializes in renewable energy technology. Green Syndications, working with George Brown College in Toronto, has developed a line of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines, with models designed to generate a maximum output of electricity from 2.5 to 10 KW. The structure is also fitted with small solar panels that supplement output in calm wind conditions.
These small wind turbines have many advantages: they can be easily transported and set up; they are silent; they can operate in turbulent air flows; they are a good size for roof-top installation. As they are less costly to manufacture, they will be priced less than other roof installations.
The placing of the turbine is important: in a city existing buildings create wind channels where the wind blows at a greater velocity than in open space.
A prototype is now operating on the roof of George Brown College in Toronto, and a local Toronto area electric utility has agreed to participate in a pilot project, taking electricity generated by another prototype into its distribution grid.
The output of this turbine in excess of what is required to satisfy domestic needs is fed into the municipal power grid dialing back the consumption meter. The cooperation of power utilities is important, as mini-generation of electricity by countless homes is a very different economic and supply model than power utilities have administered to the present.
In this year’s Earth Day proclamation, President Obama stated:
“Because climate change and other environmental problems cannot be fully addressed by government alone, we are also engaging key stakeholders at home and abroad. . . . And we continue to stand behind innovators and entrepreneurs who will unleash the next wave of clean energy technologies and drive long-term economic growth. “
To think it is happening on our street!