BARRE TOWN, Vt., March 23 (UPI) -- Distributed Energy Systems in Vermont is preparing to send the next generation of its 100 kilowatt Northwind turbines out for testing.
The turbines stand about 150 feet off the ground and generate about 100 kilowatts on average. They are specially designed to accommodate small villages, farms and rural areas that are too remote to be connected to the grid.
The turbines, designed and built at Northern Power in Barre Town, Vt., will be shipped to Golden, Colo. to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Craig Giles, product manager at Northern, suggested the turbines could be used to offset up to about 50 percent of diesel use in places like the islands off South Korea's shores, or Alaskan villages. Putting three to five turbines in can greatly reduce diesel use, he said. The turbines are used to produce electricity for households as well as to power water treatment facilities.
Northwind turbines have already been tested and approved by the U.S. Department of Energy and the new design, Giles said, is smaller and uses less materials so its more cost competitive at between $250,000 and $350,000 per unit.
Giles also touted the new design as being more being just as, if not more efficient than the last generation and costing less.