PLYMOUTH, Mass.--(‘green’ can you get? How about a program that recycles wind turbines and sells them to farmers?)--How
“Some of these Danish machines were built like tanks”
It’s called the ‘Ultimate Recycling Project’ by one Massachusetts-based company which is working to refurbish and find new homes on farms across the US for the wind turbines being retired from the large wind farms of California.
Aeronautica Windpower (AeronauticaWind.com), located in ‘America’s Hometown’ of Plymouth, Massachusetts, is betting that US farmers are the perfect owners for these recycled, green power generators as they get replaced by larger turbines.
According to the company’s industry research, over 10,000 machines that were installed during the mid ’80s and ’90s will soon be replaced by larger, more modern turbines. That’s a lot of generation capacity that would otherwise be scrapped – about the equivalent of a couple of nuclear power plants. But with over 2.6 Million US farms, even that number of machines won’t be enough to go around.
“While big utility machines make sense on a wind farm, these ‘mid-scale’, 65 and 100 Kilowatt wind turbines are perfect for agriculture, irrigation, farms, ranches and other on-site commercial and industrial applications,” says Brian Kuhn, VP of Marketing for Aeronautica Windpower.
By focusing on turbine models that were built well and still running reliably after almost 20 years, Aeronautica Windpower wants to give the best machines a second life at harvesting renewable power for America’s farmers.
With an optional 5 year warranty, the company’s Farm Power line of recycled machines even qualifies for USDA renewable energy grants. The company believes the refurbished turbines can operate for another 20 year life span – and then be refurbished yet again.
“Some of these Danish machines were built like tanks,” explains Aeronautica’s David Wright, “and like many tractors, aircraft and other pieces of equipment, they can be stripped down and rebuilt, using many newer technologies that were not available when they were first made,” he adds. As one example of an upgrade, Aeronautica installs electronics on each machine that allows them to report their own service issues and operating statistics over the Internet.
The US wind industry is exploding. Last year, wind power accounted for over 25% of the world’s new electrical generation capacity.